As a leading manufacturer of precision tubing, Fine Tubes is delighted to be supporting International Women in Engineering Day. In our commitment to marking the event, we asked several women working at our operation facility in Plymouth about their working experience at Fine Tubes and their views on how to encourage more women to become involved in engineering.
For Technical Manager, Val Hart, the aspect of her job that she most enjoyed was "making sure that the customer gets the right material of the correct quality and that it arrives with them in perfect condition", while for Amanda Clark, Procurement Specialist "the great thing is, that no two days are the same." The variety and challenge of working in an engineering environment were consistent themes. As Debbie Andrews, Manufacturing Finishing Team Leader stated: "The more of a challenge you give me, the better I perform".
In terms of changing the gender balance within a traditionally male-orientated industry, the same themes were there. The variety of available jobs was also considered particularly important.
In the words of Kay Friend, Account Representative: "There's lots of different opportunities in an engineering company; it could be on the factory floor, or a sales position, in the laboratory or quality control." So, as Laboratory Technician, Viktorija Viktorova, explained: "Girls need to start by asking themselves, if they are really interested in maths, physics, chemistry or more in finance and the business side of things. Then they should just go for it. It's much better to choose what you enjoy."
The good news for Amanda Clark is "that more than ever before is being done in terms of promoting apprenticeships and engineering in general. You see a lot more communication aimed towards women than when I was at school. Back then, it was very much that girls could do home economics but didn't do woodwork. Now, I think it's much more gender diverse." Debbie Andrews seconds that saying "as the schools put a bigger variety of subjects out there for young women to explore, attitudes are changing, and the younger generation of women are getting involved in previously male-dominated careers like engineering."
Stressing that girls at school needed to take a long-term view of their future, Val Hart said: "I'd definitely advise them to think about engineering as a career choice. It's not just about the job that you'll be doing tomorrow. Think long-term, what has the best perspectives and what pays well".
Organised by the Women's Engineering Society and taking place annually on 23rd June, International Women in Engineering Day is a global awareness campaign designed to celebrate the achievements of women in engineering and focus attention on the range of career opportunities available to girls across the industry.
Fine Tubes, founded in 1943 and celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, manufactures precision tubes for some of the most critical applications in the aerospace, medical, oil & gas and energy industries. Its tube mill manufactures seamless, welded and drawn as well as welded tubing in a wide range of metal alloys including titanium, stainless steel and nickel.
The company is part of AMETEK Specialty Metal Products, a leading manufacturer of multiple forms of high performance specialty metal products, such as precision tubes, strip, foil and wire as well as high purity alloy powders and master alloys.