Northern engineer advocates for women’s initiative in engineering careers

Posted: 21 June 2024 | | No comments yet

Northern’s Rebecca Prendergast urges women to seize opportunities in engineering, emphasising its rewarding careers and encouraging proactive initiative ahead of International Women in Engineering Day 2024.

Northern engineer advocates for women's initiative in engineering careers

Credit: Northern

Rebecca Prendergast, a Senior Production Manager at Northern’s TrainCare Centre in Newton Heath, Manchester, has urged women to proactively pursue careers in engineering, highlighting the sector’s robust employment opportunities and potential for personal and professional growth.

Ahead of International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June 2024, Prendergast emphasised that engineering offers significant career progression, stating: “Engineering has so much to offer in terms of a fulfilling career. Women shouldn’t wait for anyone to ‘encourage’ them into it, they should take the initiative and make it happen themselves – they won’t regret it. I appreciate it’s still a male dominated industry – but the same benefits that make this a great career for men are just as true for women. I get the opportunity to work on something integral to the success of the region I call home – and that’s incredibly rewarding.”

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Prendergast, who began her career at Northern as a train conductor in 2013, transitioned to engineering in 2018 as a depot train driver. She progressed to an instructor role in 2020 and was promoted to her current position as senior production manager in December 2023.

Reflecting on her journey, Prendergast noted the challenges she faced but also the supportive environment within the engineering field, stating, “It hasn’t always been plain sailing – I didn’t get some of those jobs on the first attempt – but you have to just keep going and never give up. What I’ve found to be the case is that, within engineering, there’s a great sense of willing you on to succeed. Why wouldn’t a woman want to work in that environment?”

International Women in Engineering Day is organised by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate and promote the contributions of female engineers globally. Founded after the First World War, WES continues to advocate for gender equality in engineering and supports an inclusive industry.

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