Emma Cygan from Pailton Engineering Quashes Misconceptions About Women in Engineering


Ahead of the International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) 2018, celebrated on the 23rd of June, Emma Cygan, design and development engineer at steering system supplier Pailton Engineering, has decided to crush a few misconceptions about women working as engineers.

  1.    ‘Women are only good at soft skills’

Due to stereotypical gender roles, some women reach adulthood and have a subconscious idea that they must find a career that uses their communication skills and empathy. However, interaction skills are not gender-exclusive and both men and women should strive for it. If you are particularly affluent in the soft skills department, do not suppress this quality, as they are highly sought by employers and they are often required to enable the harder, more technical skills.

  1.    ‘Women can’t reach top positions in engineering’

Women should be confident that they have the same potential for career progression as their male equivalents. “So far in my career, I have progressed from an apprentice, to my current role as a Design and Development engineer. In the future, it will continue to be my skills that determine how quickly I will move up the job ladder, not my gender,” said Emma.

This point is also validated by the Women in Engineering annual Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35, in which many of the women featured are in senior and managerial roles and at a relatively young age. Statistically, there are more men at the top of the engineering industry, but that’s inevitable, providing there are more men at the bottom. However, initiatives such as INWED will change this and help more women see a career in engineering as a viable and rewarding option.

  1.    ‘Women aren’t supported by their employers’

At Pailton Engineering, Emma is currently receiving the right support to study for an engineering bachelor’s degree, while keeping her job. “If Pailton Engineering wasn’t invested in me, or didn’t see a future with me as a key decision maker in the company, then this investment wouldn’t have been made,” said Emma.

While the INWED 2018 is raising the bar for women in engineering, there are still plenty of myths and misconceptions about working in the industry that must be quashed. “I hope I’ve raised the bar for other women to start an engineering career, even if I did use this bar to obliterate the myths that are currently circulating —someone had to do it,” concluded Emma.


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BDC 303 Apr 2023