23 June 2016

This article was posted prior to the rebrand of Lockheed Martin to Leidos on Wednesday 17th August 2016.

National Women in Engineering Day 2016

National Women in Engineering Day (#NWED2016) is now an International awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to in this exciting industry.

It takes place annually on 23 June and ahead of this year’s activities we caught up with some Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) employees in the UK to get their views:

Sophie Turner, Lockheed Martin

Former apprentice and now a Software Developer, Sophie Turner, shares an insight into why a modern apprenticeship was the right choice for her. 

Not being an academic at school, the apprenticeship route allowed me to not only learn skills in an environment that suited me, but the interactions with colleagues helped me to develop my approach and style in the workplace.

It was definitely the right path for me to take – after all it ended up with a role looking after technology supporting UK and international aviation – as far as I’m concerned now with my career, thanks to Lockheed Martin and QA Apprenticeships the sky’s the limit!

Saira Thomson, Lockheed Martin

Saira Thomson, Project Support Administrator works on large scale programmes from Skills Development Scotland to managing smaller projects in our Public Services Project Support team.

Having worked in other industries, I believe Technology is a great place to work. It is an industry where you deal with new challenges and new opportunities constantly. I feel there are more opportunities to develop yourself and your career within the technology industry than anywhere else as we are constantly changing to adapt to the changing needs of our customers.

I have acted as a supervisor for 15 year old interns who were unsure of what career path to take but after 4 weeks of internship with us they left with more information about various career opportunities within Lockheed Martin and most of the interns wanted to return to the technology field.

So don’t be put off or intimidated by what people say, make yourself aware of what opportunities are available in our field and the relevant paths to get a job. There are various paths including learning on the job as an apprentice or intern, or studying for a degree at university.

Shirley Cavin, Lockheed Martin

Shirley Cavin Development Manager and Technical Project Lead with the Transportation team supports some of the world’s leading airports.

I have always had the opportunity to work alongside great people, and great teams. Although in the majority of cases I was the only woman amongst a large group of men, I was always treated fairly, and with great respect and professionalism. So I didn’t think of myself as the ‘odd one out’, as I always believe that if you enjoy what you do, and you are good at it, gender really does not matter.

Enjoy and embrace diversity and equality, and value the benefits and opportunities of having people of different backgrounds in your daily life. We all have so much to gain when we are able to share our skills and experience with people that we work with. And understand that at the end of the day, we all share the same goal: which is to enjoy, to excel, to do great work and to have a fantastic time!

Fiona Davidson, Lockheed Martin

Fiona Davidson, Energy Operations Director supports a predominantly male industry that is facing a number of a pressures.

In my almost 30 years working in the technology industry, attitudes towards women have vastly improved. Whilst more women are working in the industry today than when I started my career, in many areas it continues to be male dominated. I think this goes hand in hand with the perception that it is a very masculine industry.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to pursue a career in technology and after graduating with a BSc in Science and Technology, my path was fairly straightforward. I was lucky to have some great female role models who showed me there was a place for me in this industry.

The majority of women who could have the potential to forge a successful career in technology are increasingly encouraged and more aware of what opportunities are available to them now. Although low female participation in IT education has a detrimental effect on a strong female workforce – only one fifth of professionals within the industry are women - I believe this trend is changing.

There are now more and more females moving into careers traditionally thought of as male oriented posts e.g. technology, engineering etc. Nothing should hold you back.

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