Why is it so important to promote equality in the engineering industry? (INWED Q&A) - iungo Solutions

Why is it so important to promote equality in the engineering industry? (INWED Q&A)

Why is it so important to promote equality in the engineering industry? (INWED Q&A)

#INWED21: Q&A with iungo

International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) provides an opportunity for companies and individuals industry-wide to celebrate the achievements of women in the industry. This year has seen increased innovation in response to the pandemic and has witnessed the tireless effort of engineers working to support every-day functions across the world. 

Ensuring Women in Engineering receive recognition for their achievements across the industry is incredibly important as we look to the future of the Engineering industry. 

At iungo Solutions, equality and inclusivity are top priorities in all that we do and have become the building blocks for our businesses core functions. 

So, to celebrate INWED, we’ll be talking to members of the iungo team from all over the business: Jessica Leigh Jones MBE, Co-founder and Chief Executive of iungo Solutions; Cerys May, Cyber Security Intern; and Tom DeVall, Co-Founder & Executive Chair. 

Find out what INWED means to them and how iungo Solutions hopes to be part of the solution.

What does International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) mean to you?

Jessica Leigh Jones INWED

Jessica: Celebrating INWED is about building a community for underrepresented groups in engineering. Whether female, BAME, LGBTQ+ or socioeconomically disadvantaged, INWED showcases examples of the very best individuals who have beaten the odds and bucked the trend in engineering. It’s a day of inspiration and celebration, and a reminder of the need for businesses and institutions to design inclusivity into their policies and activities.

Cerys: INWED should be a celebration of the major accomplishments of women in engineering, particularly the most outstanding ones. And not just because they’re women, but because they have done something worth celebrating – big or small victories. It should celebrate what women in engineering care about and are passionate about.

Tom: Having co-founded iungo Solutions with a successful and inspirational female engineer, I am proud to be in a position where we can recognise and support the achievements of women in engineering. Today is a celebration of the growing number of success stories across industries and the world. It is also an opportunity to promote the possibilities and inspire the next generation.

What encouraged you to get into Engineering/Tech? 

Jessica: I was born into engineering. My father was an aircraft electrician in the Ministry of Defence at RAF St Athan. I learned Ohm’s Law before the Times Tables and worked as his “apprentice” on weekends from the age of 5. Despite always knowing that I would be an engineer, I had never fully appreciated the vastness of engineering as a profession. Technology impacts every facet of our lives and engineers are creating the future in every industry and every section of society.

Cerys: My parents have been a huge inspiration for me to get into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Particularly my mother, who has an amazing ability to push forward in the field. It’s been amazing to explore different fields and find my own little niche within the industry, too.

What has your experience in the industry been like?

Jessica: I wish I could say it has all been positive. I’ve been turned down for jobs due to the shade of my lipstick and given secretarial work to do by my bosses. Reflecting on my experiences more than a decade on, I feel that we still have significant work to do to make engineering a more inclusive industry. We have been successful in showcasing the excitement of engineering to young people but we are still struggling to retain and progress underrepresented groups within engineering. 

Cerys May INWEDCerys: My experience in industry as a whole is very limited, but the opportunities I have had have been very exciting. Some fields appear to be completely uninteresting on the surface, but have revealed hidden depths. It’s been a bit chaotic, but I’ve absolutely loved working on this kind of project with iungo. It’s also been a bit of a confidence boost, proving that certain bits of knowledge can come in handy, while also giving me a great opportunity to learn and grow as a person. I can’t wait to see what exciting new opportunities the future has in store!


Why is ensuring equal opportunities in the Engineering and Tech industry so important? 

Jessica: If businesses want to survive, they need to take equality and diversity seriously. It’s not about measuring inputs or ticking boxes, it’s about understanding the link between having a diverse workforce and better business performance. Within Engineering and Tech, equal opportunities means designing better products that meet the needs of a diverse society, an open-minded culture that capitalises on new business opportunities, and a happy and more productive workforce. 

Cerys: There are a multitude of different reasons, but I think the one I personally stand by is that any child should be able to do what they find interesting and fun. No barrier of discrimination should stop that level of dream chasing. Every person deserves the right to knowledge and growth within every field, but the gender gap is particularly noticeable within Engineering and Tech, making it all the more important that equal opportunities are presented.

What do you think we can do to ensure equality within these spaces? 

Jessica: At iungo, we are pioneering new ways of working that focus on inclusivity and social and career mobility. Our unique ‘potential-focussed’ recruitment methods, digitally native working environment, and learning and performance culture appeal to a broad range of people who may be unable to engage with traditional full-time, onsite work, such as female returners, disabled people, and part-time or flexible workers.Tom Devall INWED

Tom: iungo was established on core principles that encompass the notion of inclusivity and each element of our company benefits from the value created by integrating diversity. People will always be the foundation of any business and the driving force behind its achievements. 

Despite the evolving landscape and prospects that enabling technology offers, the necessity of innovation, vision and aspiration within a company only increases the importance of people. Thus, we believe that creating an equal, agile and open working environment breaks the barriers and provides the opportunity for everyone to find their way of working, whilst heightening engagement and integration to foster a collaborative approach.

What message would you like to share with other aspiring women engineers on International Women in Engineering Day?

Jessica: Think outside the box. Engineering is a superpower – do something special with it; something that can genuinely benefit society. Don’t be a corporate token; take the plunge and start something with purpose.

Cerys: My life experience is a little limited, but my advice would be: don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do. No matter what people may think of you, do what you want to do for you – you’re not doing it for them. From my experience, most of the time in Engineering and Tech any topic has widely accessible information and is easier to get into than it looks. This is particularly true for computer science, which looked intimidating at first, but turned out to be as simple as any other path. 

To hear more from Cerys May about women in Cyber Security, read our International Women’s Day blog

Visit International Women in Engineering Day’s website, to learn more about the importance of recognising women in engineering.

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