In the latest instalment of our FM industry interview series, we sat down with Sophie Sibley, Environment and Energy Data Analyst at SPIE UK to talk about how the industry can encourage more women to move into STEM-based careers as International Women’s Day (March 8th) approaches…
Tell us about your current role.
Environment and Energy Data Analyst. I help advise businesses on how they need to adapt to adhere to new environmental and energy regulations. By monitoring clients’ energy use and assessing their buildings, I can advise them on how to reduce their energy consumption, specifically when assisting them with the completion of their ESOS reports.
How can we encourage more women into STEM careers?
Accessibility is a huge problem. We need to make it as easy as possible for women to follow a STEM career path and promote the opportunities available to women at a young age. Although engineering is known for being male–dominated, an effort should be made to integrate women amongst the male cohort. This helps to stop issues that may arise due to segregation while enabling different ideas to be shared.
What’s your advice to those looking into following a career in engineering?
I suggest joining a professional body and attending relevant events. Not only does this give you the opportunity to learn from others but helps you to start having conversations with the right people in the industry who might end up being a mentor further down the line.
With the percentage of women in the industry dropping off over time, how can the sector retain more females
Female networks, such as SPIE’s So’SPIE Ladies network has inspired me to remain in engineering as you can seek council from others in a similar situation to yourself.