International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June is a platform to recognise and celebrate the contributions of women in engineering. This day holds a special significance for the future, as it paves the way for a more inclusive and innovative workplace. From Johnstown to Hartlepool and beyond, we celebrate the stories of our incredible colleagues from around the world, who challenge stereotypes and inspire future generations to take up a career in engineering.

Marian D’Auria – GFG’s Head of Risk and Sustainability and the driving force behind the Women’s Network, shares her thoughts on the importance of International Women in Engineering Day, as it plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers.

As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, let’s reflect on the significant impact women have had in engineering, and in particular within our steel industry. For instance, Patricia Billings, a material engineer, gave us geopolymer concrete, a fire-resistant material that has expanded our horizons in construction. Yet another significant contribution comes from Emily Roebling, who took over the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, showcasing the practical application of steel in large-scale projects.

We see every day how diversity in our teams enriches our perspectives, enhances our decision-making processes, and leads to more robust solutions. It’s not just about celebrating trailblazers like Particia and Emily, but also about nurturing an environment where the next generation of women engineers can further advance our commitment to sustainable steel production. This is an opportunity for us to focus on this mission, to be inspired by past achievements, and to be motivated towards future progress.

In the countdown to International Women in Engineering Day, here’s to a week of recognition, appreciation, and inspiration!

Introducing Rebecca Brookes

Mechanical Fitter at LIBERTY Pipes Hartlepool

I have always been drawn to a career in engineering because of my passion for the hands-on aspect of the job. Seeing each machine in action and understanding the processes involved, as well as knowing how to fix them, is highly rewarding and continuously enhances my knowledge of the engineering field.

One of the things I love about my job is that no two days are the same, and each day brings something different. This can range from handling various breakdowns to managing machine changeovers. I also enjoy the aspect of working in shifts, as it allows me to build strong friendships with my colleagues and seek their assistance when needed in specific areas.

I take pride in my company and my team, as it is a fantastic place to work. LIBERTY Pipes Hartlepool holds the distinction of being the first producer of hydrogen pipeline materials in the UK. Additionally, the O Press, which is the final stage in the pipe forming line, requires approximately 80,000 litres of oil to operate. It’s truly remarkable!

Outside of work, I enjoy attending concerts and spending time with family and friends.

The advice I would give to any girls or women considering a career in engineering is to have confidence in yourself. Starting out in an engineering field as a girl or woman can feel overwhelming and intimidating, but having self-assurance that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to will greatly assist you along the way.

Rebecca Brookes

Introducing Agnese ‘Gina’ Nuti

Graduate Engineer – ALVANCE British Aluminium

    • What attracted you to a career in Engineering?

I didn’t start studying until I was almost 30 years old. I decided that I wanted a career that I could grow in, and engineering offers job security, which can take you anywhere in the world. I am from Rome in Italy and now here I am in the Scottish Highlands.

Engineering has always fascinated me, as your contribution can make such a difference, providing meaningful opportunities to solve problems and design things that really matter, outcomes that make the world a better place in which to live.

Working in engineering helps you reach your goals as it offers a lot of career progression.  Prior to engineering I worked in retail and administration, but I didn’t feel fulfilled by it, so took the leap to change career paths and I haven’t look back. I am excited about growing my engineering career through further experience and qualifications.

    • What do you love about your job?

The challenges and the versatility as well as the fact there is always something to learn and so many disciplines that can be blended in one project, and not just strictly the field of electrical engineering.

    • One surprising fact about your job.

I think by speaking with my friends and family – they think my job is like being an electrician – they don’t realise about what running projects means, such as designing and developing electrical systems and equipment.

    • What advice will you give girls and women who are thinking of a career in Engineering?

By speaking with my friends – I always get a response, like: “I don’t know how you do that and all of the maths!”. Well, I had an excellent teacher who helped me be better at maths. Teachers can make a massive difference. Engineering is extremely rewarding, the more you do the more fascinated you become and ultimately the more you want to learn.

Don’t let other people influence your opinion – if someone tells you that you can’t do something, this encourages me to prove them wrong. My top advice is never listen to someone else if it makes you doubt yourself, decide what your capabilities are, as only you know what you are capable of. Just don’t give up, remember everyone has to start somewhere and one day, you will be able to share your experience.

Meet Jana Borková

CI Lean Specialist – LIBERTY Ostrava

What I live by – I am fundamentally against wasting of any kind. Wasted time in a wrong job is one of the worst types to go through.

I have never thought I would be able to work on the shopfloor in steel industry. After 12 years of working across various departments in HR, an opportunity presented itself to completely change my focus. I haven’t made a better decision in my career so far. I admit I was absolutely enchanted by the sparks and the noise. To this day, I am fascinated by every part of the production process throughout the smelter and have a huge desire to know more and more about all the processes and equipment. Every day I am thankful for the opportunity I have been given, and which I accepted, even though in the early months I would have put down the blast furnace with my tears and sweat!

What I love about my work is its diversity. Every day I tackle new challenges in different areas which gives me a huge opportunity to meet a wide range of talented professionals from whom I can constantly learn. I also enjoy making quick progress and direct commuinication with my colleagues. I like that I don‘t have just colleagues at work but also good friends. It’s great to know that such tough guys have kind hearts.

Outside of work, I am currently studying an MBA programme focused on project management. I enjoy meeting my colleagues and sharing information and news that we can put into practice then. I am also an adrenaline enthusiast but can appreciate the calmness of nature where I can relax together with my husband and dog.

My message to other women – I wish all women would find the strength to step out of their comfort zone and not be afraid. It’s wonderful to go to work with joy and a smile. Aim for a work life balance that is meaningful, sustainable and also allows you to be independent in your personal life. I wish everyone to have wise and kind colleagues like mine who have been a great support and help to me from the very beginning. Of course, without the support and understanding from my husband things would have been much harder!

Meet Larisa White

Metallurgical Engineer – Whyalla

    • What attracted you to a career in Engineering?

    • I was working as a secretary which was repetitive and rather boring. There were many engineers in the team I was working with, and their work seemed so much more interesting and fulfilling – they had new challenges every day and had the opportunity to work on really exciting things. So, I took the plunge and changed careers.

    • What do you love about your job?

    • I’m really passionate about making steel – every day there is a new challenge.

    • One surprising fact about your job.

    • I can’t think of anything but I’m sure there are lots of things people might find surprising, I’ve been doing it for 16 years now so it’s all normal to me lol.

    • What do you like doing outside of work?

    • I have two small children, so I am pretty busy with them when I’m not at work! I’m also a member of the local Rotary club and I enjoy volunteering in my spare time.

    • What advise will you give students and women who are thinking of a career in Engineering?

    • I encourage any woman thinking of a career in engineering to go for it. There needs to be more of us to break the mould. You CAN do it!


Introducing Stephanie Ayers

Mechanical Engineer – LIBERTY Wire Johnstown

My advice to young girls thinking about a career in engineering is to be prepared to keep learning for the rest of your life. Like the world, the problems in engineering are always changing, so engineers have to adapt to the change in order to learn how to solve the new problems. Also, you’re always going to be surrounded by men, so the work environment is going to be different and you’re going to have to develop a different sense of humour.

However, you should not separate yourself from everyone else by thinking of yourself as a woman in engineering, you should just think of yourself as just being in engineering. All of the separation will just cause animosity, and you shouldn’t want to separate your accomplishments based on something you can’t control. That being said being in engineering is a really great accomplishment that you should be proud of, but you should never be focused only on your past accomplishments. Rather you should be focused on making yourself better than your past accomplishments. Prove yourself as an engineer and not as a woman in engineering.

Along the way I have learned that in order to learn you have to ask. It may be uncomfortable, but if you aren’t sure about an answer then run it by your team. One person isn’t expected to have all of the answers, but a team of people is more likely to find the answer. Especially if the people you consult have a lot of experience in the field your problem is based out of. That being said you should also expand your knowledge by learning from your questions to avoid repeat questions.

The thing I find most gratifying about this profession is the problem solving. I enjoy finding the correct solution to a difficult problem.


Meet Ashley Linkewich, National Scheduling Manager and Industrial Systems Engineer for InfraBuild