Following on from our post earlier this week on young Muslim women and the Good Jobs Campaign, meet Sanna Shabir, 22, from East London, who is an Engineering Technician working at Atkins Global, a leading Design, Engineering and Project Management consultancy.
Sanna started on the Citizens UK Good Jobs Campaign and is well on her way to a successful career, with highlights so far including working on the 2012 Olympics.
Here, she tells us how she got into engineering and how she is passionate about encouraging other women to do the same.
“Between 2012–2015, women made up 47 per cent of the UK’s workforce, but only 13 per cent of STEM workers. The UK has the lowest representation of female workers in Engineering in Europe.
Presently women are very underrepresented in the profession and there are business and government backed campaigns to change attitudes to Engineering, giving women the self-belief to apply and break down barriers.
I am actively working with colleges from East London including my ex-college on a scheme known as Pathways to Engineering, which is part of the Citizens UK Good Jobs Campaign. I was on a similar scheme and it has benefited me hugely to get a foothold on the construction career ladder, I hope others can do the same!
The UK is facing a skills shortage in Engineering, so I am an acting as Atkins Apprentice Ambassador, a buddy to younger apprentices, an active Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Ambassador, a committee member of the London Atkins STEM hub as well as an apprentice panel member for the Institute for Apprenticeships. This is for young men as well as women, but being a woman I’m naturally keen others follow me into this career path so we can improve the gender balance in engineering.
I am also involved with various organisations such as Pearson and WISE Campaign to promote women in engineering, vocational qualifications and apprenticeships".
Why are you personally motivated by this issue?
“For me being a young person myself from a similar background, I can relate better back to pupils, so I’m able act as both a peer and role model to people my age. I’m doing speeches and presentations to young women what engineering is and that even though it is male dominated that things are changing and more women are joining. Also, I’m telling people engineering can be exciting, I worked on the London 2012 Olympics, which was a dream come through for someone who grew up in East London".