International Women In Engineering Day 2020

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Today, Gratte Brothers is recognising and celebrating International Women in Engineering Day (INWED). Now, in its seventh year, INWED is an international awareness campaign which aims to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available in this exciting industry.

We’re proud to recognise the vital contribution made by outstanding women to our success every week, however we remain ever aware of the gender imbalance within our industry. As a business we are committed to challenging this imbalance by focusing our schools programmes on girls, expanding our recruitment channels to target females and also ensuring that our female employees are receiving the training and development resources that will allow them to further their careers.

To celebrate INWED, we spoke to some of the women working at Gratte Brothers to see how they contribute to our success and how they’ve adapted in light of COVID-19 to carry out their vital roles.

Clair – Electrical Project Manager
What is your role at Gratte Brothers?
My role is to manage large electrical projects by liaising with the client; coordinating with other trades; ensuring compliance with health & safety and quality assurance procedures as well as managing my project team’s activities and progress. I’m currently managing the electrical package on a project which entails HV and LV Switchgear, Generators, Busbar, Fire Alarm, Security, Lighting and Small Power. I have 3 Engineers, 4 Site Managers and a Commissioning Manager working alongside me to deliver the project.

How has your role changed in light of COVID 19?
We are currently in the pre-construction phase so the team is working from home apart from a small team operating out of the fabrication yard. Working from home has some benefits such as a reduced commute time but managing a project from a distance is not easy. The ease of talking to the team and knowing how everyone is doing has been reduced by not having the team together. There are strict restrictions on who and how many people are allowed on-site and access is only allowed for those carrying out a particular task so the challenge is to keep track of progress from afar.

How have you overcome recent challenges?
To overcome the issue of distance, I schedule 2 Skype Meetings a week with the Electrical Team to keep track of how the packages are progressing and any issues that need to be resolved. I also call the team almost everyday to see how they are getting on as well as how they are coping with working from home. I am proud of the team for remaining operational throughout the lockdown period so that the pre-construction works could continue. The team has found new ways to work with social distancing regulations to maintain progress, for example using photos and video footage of the works rather than live samples to enable client sign off. We are still on programme to have our modules ready for when they are required on-site and this is the result of the whole team’s efforts.

Megan – Systems Engineer
What is your role at Gratte Brothers?
As a Systems Engineer, it is my responsibility to ensure that the business has the best technology and that the servers and systems, which the entire company operate off, are constantly working at an optimum level. Providing this service often has the benefit of helping different departments streamline their workloads for increased efficiency. Some of the biggest concerns facing businesses currently are IT security and Data Protection. Ensuring our compliance and security also forms a large part of my job.

How has your role changed in light of COVID 19?
My role hasn’t really changed much but I’ve had to adapt to home working. This has meant answering a few more phone calls and working solely on more essential works such as keeping our IT systems running and everyone working easily and securely from home. I think the biggest challenge has been enabling those that would not normally work from home to be able to do so. It’s been a learning curve for all but we are over the hump now. I don’t have a desk at home, so working from the kitchen table with a screen has been fun!

How have you overcome recent challenges?
We’ve had the same work to complete but with some of our team being furloughed, we’ve had less people so key to overcoming this challenge has been the prioritisation of essential work. I’ve been going to the office once a week to make sure our systems and sites continue to run as smoothly as possible.

Marta – Coordinating Engineer
What is your role at Gratte Brothers?
As a Coordinating Engineer, I use my expertise to not only provide the design and coordination knowledge required on mechanical projects but also to take responsibility for the running of my own projects.

How has your role changed in light of COVID 19?
I have been working part of the week from home for the last year after I came back to work following maternity leave so luckily I was fully adapted to a different routine already. At the beginning it can be challenging but this can be overcome by maintaining communication and ensuring you set a routine from the beginning that works for you.

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