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Staff Rise to the Challenge with Balfour Beatty

Posted: 23rd June 2023 - 12:17pm

Two brave Loughborough College employees took to new heights this week as they climbed a towering 30 metre high transmission tower at Balfour Beatty’s event for International Women in Engineering Day (INWED).

Laura Shepherd, Director of Strategic Partnerships and External Relationships, and Helen Russell, Curriculum Manager for Engineering Apprenticeships, braved the challenge to support the national awareness day.

Held annually, INWED serves as an annual celebration to identify and highlight the remarkable contributions made by women in the engineering field. Renowned infrastructure group, Balfour Beatty hosted the thrilling event on Thursday 22 June to celebrate their continued commitment to fostering gender equality within the industry, and provide young female engineers an exciting glimpse into the world of engineering alongside a unique and exhilarating challenge.

The highlight of the event was the breath-taking challenge of climbing a 30m high transmission pylon. Under the expert guidance of seasoned engineers, Laura and Helen were able to witness first-hand the intricacies of the systems that power our cities. Reflecting on the event, Laura expressed her enthusiasm, sharing, “I had a fantastic day with our partners at Balfour Beatty who are doing some amazing work to inspire women to join their workforce.

“The climb was a great experience, and really opened my eyes to the work of our Overhead Powerline Technician Apprentices. I really appreciated one of our apprentices Niamh accompanying me on the climb, it was brilliant to see how she has developed over her time with Balfour Beatty.”

Laura and Helen were joined by learner Niamh Williams, currently working towards her Level 3 Power Network Craftsperson apprenticeship with Balfour Beatty. They had the chance to engage with industry professionals and gain valuable insights into the diverse range of career paths within the organisation. From infrastructure development and construction to maintenance and operations, Balfour Beatty showcased the exciting prospects for aspiring female engineers.

The College wanted to celebrate and support Balfour Beatty in consistently demonstrating its commitment to fostering gender diversity and inclusion within the engineering sector. Ant Hubbard, Lead IQA for Balfour Beatty said, “We were happy to host the two members of the Loughborough College team to demonstrate the important work our overhead line apprentices carry out to help maintain the UK’s critical infrastructure.”

The company recognises the immense value that diverse perspectives and experiences bring to their projects, leading to innovation and success. By organising events such as this women-only open day, Balfour Beatty actively encourages women to pursue careers in engineering and aims to bridge the gender gap in the industry.