Women have a vital role to play in the gas industry, says Northern Gas Networks

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) is encouraging more women to explore the career opportunities available in the gas industry to mark International Women in Engineering Day.

NGN runs an engineering apprenticeship programme. In its most recent intake, NGN saw an increase in the number of women being shortlisted for interview and a 20 per cent rise in the number of offers being made to female applicants, which it says has quadrupled the company’s female engineering workforce.

NGN is now supporting International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June by highlighting some of the success stories among its female workforce, including Annie Thomson from Leeds. Ms Thomson began her career supporting engineers in an administrative role at NGN’s Pontefract depot, but was interested in working in an engineering environment.

After signing up for the Women in Utilities course run by training provider Develop, Ms Thomson has now been promoted to Operational Technician at the NGN gas holder currently being taken down by contractors Thompsons of Prudhoe in Leeds.

She says: “Taking down a gas holder is a long and complex process and I have a lot of responsibility.

“I’m on site every day in my hard hat and high-vis, and I make sure that everything is in place for the contractors to do their job safely. I ensure that all the engineering work runs smoothly and to a high standard. I’d like to progress my career in this kind of role, develop my skills through further training, and go for further promotions as they come up.

“For me, International Women in Engineering Day is important because it shows people that there’s much more on offer than the stereotypes would have you believe, and that at NGN all the engineering opportunities that are open to men are also open to women.”

NGN has established a new Diversity and Inclusion Strategy within the organisation, and is also a business partner for Solutions for the Planet; an organisation which brings schools and businesses together to encourage all pupils to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to think about how science can provide solutions to the challenges of sustainability.

International Women in Engineering Day is run by the Women’s Engineering Society, with the aim of raising the profile of women working in engineering and focusing attention on the many opportunities available to girls and women in the engineering sector.

Related Articles