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TfL puts female engineers in the frame

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Transport for London (TfL) has been proudly promoting the female engineers within its ranks to inspire more women to join the profession.

Vinyl displays have been installed at Canning Town, Cannon Street and Loughton Tube stations telling the stories of some of TfL’s inspiring female engineers.

The displays coincide with the Department for Transport’s Year of Engineering campaign and the International Women in Engineering Day (INWED). Both initiatives are hoping to encourage more young women to consider a career in engineering as the transport industry looks to make up for a predicted shortfall in engineering skills.

One of the women featured is Central line engineer Mesghana Habteab. She said: “I love being an engineer because I love tackling challenges.

Mesghana Habteab (left) and Helen Gregory

“Many people think that they can’t become an engineer because they don’t have the right qualifications. However, there are many routes to becoming an engineer, such as applying for an apprenticeship. I joined the industry, despite taking A Levels in the arts and humanities, by completing a foundation course. Sometimes there may appear to be barriers to your aspirations, but you can find ways to overcome them.”

Helen Gregory, an assistant project manager on the modernisation of the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, said: “Engineering is such as exciting industry to work in. More women should be considering it as a potential path for them because as an engineer you can you can walk past a building or a bridge or a road and think ‘I was part of the team that delivered this’. You get to make a difference to people’s everyday lives.”

TfL, working with the London Transport Museum (LTM) and Siemens, also ran one of its Inspire Engineering sessions at LTM’s Acton depot for INWED. Students were given the chance to see behind the scenes at Acton, meet TfL STEM ambassadors and attempt practical engineering challenges.

Deputy Mayor for Education, Joanne McCartney (right), with students at London Transport Museum’s Acton depot

More than 3,900 students have taken part in the events since 2011. In 2017/2018, 55 per cent of attendees were girls.

Inspire Engineering is part of TfL and LTM’s ‘Enjoyment to Employment’ programme. The initiative is supported by a number of TfL’s biggest suppliers, including Siemens, Bombardier, Costain, Hitachi Rail Europe, Mastercard and telent Technology Services.

Photos: TfL

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