Making an impact as a female engineer

28 Jun 2024
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A woman with silver hair in an SGN t-shirt looking ahead next to the logo for INWED

Sunday 23 June marked International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and their outstanding achievements.

We’re delighted to see more and more women are choosing careers in the engineering sector and we’re proud that a number of these women have brought their skills and talents to SGN. All week, we’re celebrating our fantastic female engineers – here’s Lauren's story.


Hi there, my name is Lauren Baker and I’m a First Call Operative (FCO) in our London region, based out of our St Mary Cray depot. I’ve worked at SGN for a bit under three years. Before I started here, I worked in smart metering – so I’ve been in the utility industry since 2014.

I know it’s a bit more unusual for women to take up an engineering role and it really wasn’t something that was highlighted to me at school. But I’ve always been more practical and I love getting out and about. Being an FCO is such a varied job where you’re seeing new faces and new locations every day, which I really like. Every day is also a different challenge, a different puzzle to solve.

The best bit about my role is knowing that I’m doing something which has an impact on people’s lives – that we’re making a difference. It’s a great source of pride to know that we’re keeping people safe.

I love to know we’re helping vulnerable customers too – it’s definitely an area I’m interested in. I love identifying those customers who need a bit of extra support and getting them the care they need. I’ve had quite a few customers who’ve gone on to get a new boiler or similar based on me identifying their needs. This is something which was lacking when I worked in smart metering so I’ve found it very rewarding since coming to SGN.

I'm keen to develop my career further and have been deputising as an Emergency Team Manager for four months, which has been an interesting experience.


Encouraging more women into engineering

Since we’re celebrating International Women in Engineering Day I wanted to talk about how we can get more women into engineering roles.

While there are always challenges when you’re in the minority – you feel a lot of extra pressure to prove yourself – I would say all the guys I’ve worked with have been extremely supportive and welcoming. In general, they seem to like having some different faces around!

It's great that the people I’ve worked with at SGN have really embraced having women in engineering roles. It’s still the case though that there aren’t many girls or young women coming into roles like mine. We’re definitely starting to make changes here, but I think we need to reach out to more young girls at schools and colleges. Girls just aren’t being told that it’s an option.

I myself started off in an office role because I just didn’t know! Looking back, I’d have loved to have done an apprenticeship so we need to make sure young women know that’s on the table. If more of us women already in the role can go along to career fairs or colleges that might make a difference.

I’m going to finish up with a little advice for women looking to work in engineering: don’t be intimidated and give it a go!