Today, as part of our Women in Engineering series we meet Jaime Oliver from our Sustainability Energy & Planning team. Jaime’s role covers a large variety of daily tasks but she focuses primarily on BREEAM assessments, Whole Life Carbon Assessments and acting as a sustainability advisor for projects. We caught up with Jaime to find out more about what attracted her to a career in Engineering and what she feels the opportunities are for others in her position.
My career path into engineering wasn’t clear cut. I enjoyed maths and physics in school which gave me the academic background I needed to pursue a career in Engineering, although it wasn’t something I had considered until just before university where a teacher suggested that with my love of architecture and my A-Levels of Maths and Physics I should consider Civil Engineering. From there I realised I enjoyed working in the construction industry and especially the environmental engineering and sustainability aspects of my field. The vastness of ‘Engineering’ is what attracted me overall, finding a new sector that I enjoyed at each stage of my academic career showed me that there are lots of avenues I could go down and take my career as far as I wanted to.
Having the technical knowledge of sustainability and environmental issues is obviously important however I think a willingness to learn and a genuine interest in the field is key as policies are consistently being updated and there is a constant stream of new technologies and ideas being explored that as an industry we need to be aware of and pushing for on our projects.
The industry has come a long way and generally speaking I haven’t personally experienced any prejudice for being a woman in engineering, almost the opposite with people taking an interest in my background and wanting to use my experience as a basis to try and encourage women who are unsure of a career in engineering, similar to this interview.
Do not be put off by the fact the industry is male dominated, we will never bridge the gap if we as women feel like we can’t pursue a career because there aren’t enough women in these roles. I’ve found both men and women in the industry to be extremely supportive of me when I have had questions or wanted to gain some experience. So my advice would be, get on linkedin, attend networking events and find people to connect with to gain some understanding of what is going on in the industry and where you might fit in.