Challenging perceptions on International Women in Engineering Day

27th June 2017

International Women in Engineering Day

Last Friday we celebrated International Women in Engineering Day with a talk by Dr Jill Armstrong of Cambridge University, who visited our Cambridge site to talk about Unconscious Bias and Gender equality.

Mark Johnston, our Chief Designer, hosted the event and shared his thoughts on the future. He spoke about the benefits of having a diverse workforce – particularly in engineering and pointed out the great opportunity we have to develop in this area.

Dr Armstrong’s presentation covered many topics, including the research she is currently doing called Collaborating with Men. This research explores better ways to integrate women into the workplace, and Dr Armstrong and her team are speaking to a variety of businesses to inform their work.

Why collaborating with men?

Because men are more often in the senior positions in business and ‘male’ views are more prevalent in society. Men could have a really positive influence on social change in this area and Dr Armstrong is looking at ways to make it easier for men to prompt this change.

We had a really engaged audience with lots of questions for Dr Armstrong to answer and some great ideas for changes we could make here at Marshall ADG, including:

  • Reverse mentoring (where a junior female employee gives feedback to a male senior leader)
  • Improving the chairing of meetings (it is common for women to be spoken over or to have their ideas stolen)
  • Unconscious bias training delivered to new starters and those promoted

Alistair McPhee, Marshall ADG CEO, said “I thoroughly enjoyed that presentation, it was really quite thought-provoking. There were some really neat ideas in there for us – the one I hadn’t come across before was reverse mentoring, so I think what we should do is get the feedback from Jill and decide how we’re going to use that.”

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