Quick Job Application
In a rush? Simply drop off your CV by clicking on the button to your right, and we'll get in contact if we have a suitable vacancy.
The Power of Inspiring Female Role Models in the Energy Sector
With women accounting for only 13% of engineers and 22% of overall core STEM roles, there is still a lot of work to be done in reaching a more gender balanced workplace.
We met four inspiring women working in Nuclear, Electrical and Renewable Energy at this month’s WISE Knowledge Sharing event, hosted at Wood, to discuss this important subject.
Each told a unique story about their career journey; covering the successes and challenges they had experienced, and providing valuable advice on how to address gender balance across STEM roles.
Inspiring Women in Engineering
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
- A Fellow of the IMechE and a Member of the Association for Project Management (APM).
- Joined the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in 2005, becoming Head of Portfolio Assurance, leading work across the whole estate.
- Led changes in project and programme delivery for NDA transport subsidiary INS, before returning to the NDA, to focus on the Magnox Transition programme.
- Acting Head of the NDA’s Waste Management Programme, overseeing the performance of Radioactive Waste Management, including Geological Disposal Facility and the Low Level Waste Repository contract.
- Her focus is now on Magnox reactor decommissioning options.
RWE Supply & Trading GmbH (RWEST)
- Worked for Montagu-Smith & Co Gas Consultancy
- Also worked at National Power, International Power, RWE Npower and currently RWEST CAO.
- Spent 11 years as an International Fuel Manager, enabling her to travel to Italy, Spain, Russia, Bangladesh, Mexico and Thailand.
- Innovation Business Development Manager - installing temporary gensets on existing sites, developing commercial scale Solar PV projects, and development of commercial scale greenhouse project.
- Capacity Market Manager at RWE - RWE enters 8 Gigawatts of electricity into the UK Capacity Market each year
- Set up and currently running Edgware Energy Limited as a licensed UK electricity subsidiary of RWEST and looking after RWEG’s portfolio of Zephyr wind farm power purchase agreements
Renewable Energy Systems Ltd
- Started her career in Consultancy work, before getting involved in Project Management and Design Engineering.
- Design specification and project engineering for Biomass CHP Plan Project creating fuel from draff and woodchips
- Electrical design and grid connection for Garreg Lwyd Wind Farm
- Systems design and grid connection for Battery Storage Project ESS
- Thriving in varied roles with the opportunity to travel and work on different projects
Dr Colette Grundy
Advanced Nuclear Technology, Environment Agency
- Began at Engineering Consultancy before BNFL in 2001
- Worked at the Nuclear Regulation Group of the Environment Agency
- Laboratory Fellow in Nuclear Regulation for the National Nuclear Laboratory, leading the Safety, Security and Safeguards team.
- Travelled to Canada, America, France, Sweden and Jordan.
- Attended the United Nations Committee on the peaceful uses of Nuclear Power sources in outer space
- In 2017, she started work for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as Head of Regulation in Advanced Nuclear Technology (ANT).
- The ANT team has contributed to the development of an enabling policy framework to support SMRs and AMRs.
- In her current role as Senior Advisor for the Environment Agency, Colette oversees the next generation of nuclear reactors for the UK.
What does it take to progress as a woman in the energy sector?
- Hard work to prove their worth, sometimes against the odds.
- A love for variety in their work
- Actively seeking new opportunities and put themselves forward wherever possible
- A thirst for knowledge and continuous learning
Top 5 ways to address gender balance in STEM
- Support Schools: We must encourage young girls in STEM from primary school age, as well as before they start to make GCSE choices. Teachers must also use more inclusive language when discussing STEM careers to avoid unconscious bias towards stereotypes.
The WISE Campaign are supporting the encouragement of young girls into STEM through their app My Skills My Life.
- Apprenticeships: Engineering apprenticeships are on the rise, offering young women a way of starting their career in STEM. Schools and colleges must offer clear career guidance to raise the profile of apprenticeships, encouraging talented young women who have studied science, maths or technology, to consider all options. Businesses offering apprenticeships must work closely with schools and colleges to encourage more diverse and better balanced participation.
- Mentoring: Furthering your career as a woman often comes with unique challenges, which is why the support from more experienced colleagues in your field can be invaluable. Having someone who understands your goals and ambitions, can give you that extra push to succeed.
- Role models: It is important that people actively see women working in STEM. We must promote awareness of success stories so young people can be inspired to follow a similar path.
- Recruitment and Promotion: To change things we must firstly ensure the language we use in job advertising is inclusive. The recruitment process must also use techniques such as standardised interview practices to help avoid unconscious bias towards candidates. Finally, there must be an increase in senior male colleagues deciding to mentor and promote women, to help break the cycle of male dominance in senior positions.
Looking for your next career move?
"Their knowledge of the industry, our organisation and candidates is one of the leaders in the market. They have always been able to supply us with the right calibre of engineering candidate no matter what the discipline or regional location is.
"First Recruitment Group’s service delivery has always been to a high standard and the customer service provided by the team has ensured that First Recruitment Group will remain a preferred supplier of engineering personnel to WorleyParsons on our future engineering projects."
"In my dealings with First I have found them to be responsive, knowledgeable, quality-focused and engaging in their approach. I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of First Recruitment Group to any prospective customers."
Global Engineering Consultancy
"We have a good working relationship with First Recruitment and they always put every effort in to filling our positions whether it's on a permanent or contract basis. First have an honest and open approach to recruitment and their clients which is refreshing. First offer an excellent payroll service which compliments their overall delivery service to MWH Treatment."
“As the biggest services supplier to the nuclear industry our demand for personnel is significant, when I have an urgent requirement I know I can rely on First Recruitment to rise to the challenge.
“As a preferred supplier for temporary labour and a fundamental part of our permanent recruitment process we get the right people at the right time. Whether its highly technical/specialist resources or back office support personnel the approach is to the same high standard.”
Veolia Nuclear Solutions
"It’s great to work with a recruitment agency we trust. The team at First Recruitment Group are friendly and straight talking and they continue to provide an excellent service. We’re proud to still be working with them after 20 years."
Simon Carves Engineering Ltd
"First Recruitment are on the 1st Tier of Sweett Europe’s preferred supplier list. We have found First recruitment to be hugely supportive and value adding partners to Sweett, helping us source a wide range of roles. The consultants at First are hugely knowledgeable and have a real desire to listen to, and understand, our needs. They have shown an unrivalled desire to work on hard to fill roles using innovative methods to ensure they always supply us with CVs.
"I have been hugely impressed by their willingness to support us, even when we have simply been after guidance which would not attract them a fee. I would be more than happy to recommend First Recruitment Group to any prospective organisation, and to discuss in more detail their capabilities."
“We’ve worked with First Recruitment for over 12 years and have built up a great relationship with their team. They’ve helped us in sourcing contractors for our chemical division, maintaining consistently high standards in delivery, and we hope to continue building on this relationship in the future. I have no hesitation in recommending First to others.”
Haden Freeman Limited
"We have used First Recruitment to support the recruitment of several key roles within our business. The quality of the candidates put forward were extremely high which helped enormously in our ability to fill all roles, also the candidates have all been a success since joining our business. They were prompt, knowledgeable and very professional and made the recruitment process for us extremely simple. The service we have received has been first class and I would highly recommend the services of First Recruitment to any Company looking to fill a vacancy."
Meadow Vale Food Group
“I have worked with First Recruitment frequently over the last couple of years. Their ability to understand our business and support me in terms of recruitment has been excellent. Candidates are screened initially to meet our requirements and taken through the process in a professional way. I would have no hesitation in recommending First Recruitment to any employer who needs that little extra support in their recruitment process."
Bokomo Foods (UK) Limited
“I have found First Recruitment to be very efficient and professional in their approach to recruitment. They were able to gain an in depth understanding of the needs of our business and source high quality candidates. I would highly recommend their services to anyone with a recruitment need.”
"First Group are one of the key suppliers to Cobham. The team are quick to respond, friendly and professional, and as such have made a massive difference to the account. The team have supported and filled a variety of roles. Without hestitation I would recommend First."