International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) which takes place on 23rd June 2018 was set up in 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society to celebrate its 95th anniversary.
The aim is to raise the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry.
Born and raised in Romania, Ivonne Bostan studied Tourism in college shortly before moving to the UK. She landed herself a job with London Underground as a health and safety officer, and worked with a team of civil engineers for 7 years. She is now studying for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering at Barking & Dagenham College.
During her time working as a health and safety officer, Ivonne developed an interest in engineering after seeing first-hand what the work involved. Despite being a woman in a field dominated by men she told us that: “Yes, sometimes it is intimidating, but I’ve never had any problems and have always been treated the same.” She was never denied the opportunity to take part in the work, and instead was often encouraged to help and use the equipment to take measurements.
When asked if Ivonne had come across any female engineers, she told us about a female friend who she described as brilliant and said was an inspiration to her. From her experience, Ivonne has learnt that engineering is a very challenging but rewarding field. There is a lot of problem solving involved which gives her great satisfaction and a: “Feeling of accomplishment” when she successfully finds a solution.
She doesn’t think engineering is difficult and said: “Challenging, yes… but it’s just like any other course”. If anything she told us she found it strange for her to see that there weren’t many women in engineering in the UK, as this was not the case in Romania.
According to the Women’s Engineering Society, the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%, while Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus lead with nearly 30%.
Not regretting her choice, she told us that she is nearing the end of her course and very much enjoys studying engineering. Ivonne hopes to take it further and study either Mechanical or Software Engineering at university.