Women in Engineering | Meet Riara

Welcome to our series of Women in Engineering! We are very lucky at Scotch Partners to have some incredible female engineers as part of our team. This week, we are going to introduce you to just some of them.

Today we meet Riara!

Riara Woodley is a consultant working in our Sustainability Energy and Planning team. She looks after our projects that require Carbon Reduction planning and is the specialist we turn to for all ESG related tasks! We had a chat with Riara to find out more about what she likes about her job and what advice she would give to aspiring engineers.

What education path did you follow to reach the job that you do now?

I took a route which is probably quite unusual in engineering as I started with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy. This provided me with the writing skills I use today in creating reports and planning documents and helped broaden my thinking when tackling issues in life and work, but it wasn’t necessarily very transferable in terms of the content we covered! Once I knew I wanted to go into sustainability, I signed on to a post grad in Environmental Policy and Management. I then found out more about the construction industry whilst applying for jobs and did a lot of learning on the job at the start to get to where I am today.

What do you like about your job?

I like the broad variety of jobs I am tasked with, from planning document writing, to creating carbon reduction plans, no two days are the same. Working in a smaller company has also allowed me to tap into lots of different areas of sustainability within the built environment, giving me a more rounded understanding of the industry and allowing me to advise clients on the best route to achieving their desired outcomes.

What challenges do you face being a woman in engineering?

As a woman in engineering, it is not uncommon to be the only female in the room at meetings, which may initially seem slightly strange. However, this is not something to be at all intimidated by. Doing your job to the best of your ability has nothing to do with your gender and supporting and coaching new starting females to help them understand this is a good way to help women excel in the workplace.

What advice would you give to any young woman that is interested in a career in engineering?

I would say always ask questions about how it is being a woman at the company you are applying to. It is important for your workplace to not only be aware that you are in a currently male-dominated industry, but for them to be doing things to ensure that females feel equally important within the world of engineering.