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Women in Engineering network boosts industry opportunities

23 June 2017

London South Bank University (LSBU) was the first British institution to offer engineering study to women in 1920 and will continue to assist women in engineering almost a century on by developing a bespoke industry network.

Engineer and LSBU alumna Sekinat Saka

On the eve of International Women in Engineering Day, the University launched the network by hosting an event with keynote speaker Cecile Searle, director of Firstco, as well as LSBU alumna Sekinat Saka, electrical and lighting engineer at Atkins.

Sekinat enrolled in her Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree at LSBU aged 25, mother to a young child, and chose the university because of its proximity to Elephant and Castle, where she worked evenings at Tesco. Now she drives around Elephant and Castle and points out to her children the innovative lighting projects she has worked on.

“I chose LSBU for convenience but it gave me so much more,” she said.

“The opportunities at LSBU for career development and networking and the follow-up I was given after graduation were also amazing. I’m not sure I’d have got that level of support anywhere else.”

Sekinat added that support networks for women in engineering were vital to improve the gender imbalance in the industry.

“I work in a team of 20 – and only two of us are women,” she said. “My advice to anyone studying now is to get networking for encouragement and inspiration.”

“The most important thing is to speak up. Women need to make themselves heard. It’s not a man’s world and it’s important that we don’t act as if it is.

“If you have the passion for engineering you can go far.”

LSBU will also be holding a series of activities on 22 and 23 June for schoolgirls to encourage them to consider studying engineering or STEM courses.

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