As a global engineering, design and consultancy company, Ramboll has strived to operate in an ethical manner since its formation in Denmark in 1945. This ethos remains firmly ingrained today, underlined by the fact that it is a staunch supporter of the United Nations’ Global Compact and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is gender equality. Given that four of its employees were recently nominated at the Women in Construction & Engineering Awards (WICE), with two winning accolades in the process, the company is certainly creating the right working environment and encouraging role models to help achieve this objective.
Jackie Heath, Project Director, London was named Best Woman Structural Engineer and Sarah Penry, Principal, London won Best Female Mentor, while Denise Wright, Principal, London was shortlisted for Best Woman Project Manager and Britta Wesseling, Principal, Frankfurt for Best Woman in Health & Safety.
“To have won the award is really pleasing, but the chance it has given me to take a step back and reflect on the impact my mentoring has had on others has been particularly rewarding,” explains Sarah Penry. “It is the first time I’ve ever had direct feedback from other people on how my mentoring has actually helped them, so it has been really inspiring to hear those experiences first-hand.
“Mentoring is something that all senior members of staff need to do as part of their day-to-day job. No-one can deliver all their projects on their own; you always need to involve, and rely on, others. It therefore makes a huge amount of sense, as well being highly rewarding, to help and develop the next generation so that everyone’s job becomes easier. Working in any company involves a variety of different disciplines, from developing the technical side through to soft skills and the ability to work with others. From Ramboll’s point of view, as a company we are very strong on training, as well as developing and supporting all our staff in line with our corporate responsibility goals and Ramboll values. Proper mentoring feedback is a vital element of this approach.”
At a time when the skills shortage within so many sectors is reaching concerning levels, Jackie Heath feels that any initiative that encourages more young women into engineering and construction can only be positive. “As a company we are trying to encourage as many women as possible to come into the industry, backed by the STEM programmes that we are working on. If my own award helps demonstrate to young women what’s possible then that’s fantastic.
“It’s great to be part of an organisation that has been so supportive of my own development but for me this issue is not about women, it is about creating a diverse working environment. We want to be part of an organisation that is at the forefront of this. The awards that Sarah and I have won really show that we are on the right track, not to mention the fantastic work of Denise Wright and Britta Wesseling. While we might all work in different disciplines and parts of the business, taken collectively our award nominations highlight the fact that we’re all operating to the same standards and enjoy excellent levels of support from within Ramboll.”
Having clearly both been motivated to reach their own personal potential within the supportive working environment in place at Ramboll, the award recognition Sarah and Jackie have received this year will hopefully prove to be equally inspirational to young women contemplating a career in engineering and construction.