Story Contracting is proud to support International Women in Engineering Day 2021 (Wednesday 23rd June). This year’s theme is #EngineeringHeroes, celebrating the amazing work engineers around the world are doing by supporting lives and livelihoods every day.
Our Every Story pledge believes engineering is for everyone and you do not have to fit into a mould to become an engineer. 2021 has shown us that this is the year to push aside gender biases and with the support of our male colleagues we can proudly show the younger generation that engineering is also for women!
We appreciate all our female engineers at Story and are so thankful for the work they do for us on the daily.
Below are a few quotes from our males and female colleagues across the business and their thoughts on women in engineering:
All our women are innovative and inspiring, which is why we have decided to showcase a snapshot of some our engineering heroes:
Liz Hughes, Technical Director
Liz Hughes joined Story Contracting in 2021 as a Technical Director for Rail England. Previously, Liz worked as the Head of Rail Assurance at Amey Rail and brings with her a wealth of industry experience having spent over 20 years working for Carillion in both the UK and the UAE.
Building a backbone of engineering
As Technical Director I am leading the Engineering, Project Controls and Planning teams, to deliver safe, high-quality projects and drive continuous improvement and professional development. In simple terms, I am here to help build a ‘backbone of engineering’ for our business. Also, to independently govern all rail activities as a ‘critical friend’ in terms of both challenge and support and to act as the ‘engineering conscience’ to our operational delivery teams.
The attraction to Story
Story Contracting attracts me because of its family-friendly feel, the hardworking mindset and pride in deliver and of course, the people!
Excitement in growth
I am passionate about engineering, and I love meeting and helping people to achieve the best for themselves, their team, and the business.
We are entering a massive period of growth and our No. 1 asset is our people, so helping to develop a pipeline of talent, grow expertise and competence will be our key to success and I cannot wait to get started!
Work and personal life
I am a chartered Civil Engineer and an MBA graduate, with 25 years of experience in both design and construction; I have successfully delivered a variety of multi-disciplinary projects, from technical engineering assignments to process, system, and business service improvement and I love what I do!
I am also married to another Civil Engineer, we have 2 boys, aged 13 and 11 and I enjoy a balanced lifestyle that allows me to deliver my best (in and out of work!), share my experiences and positive mindset for lifelong learning and continuous improvement.
The perfect day
I now run nearly every day and during lockdown, this has been my saviour; a positive addiction that has enhanced and transformed my life beyond recognition, so probably a run!
If not a run, a very long walk(!), outdoors in the fresh air, preferably in the Welsh mountains where we have a cottage (and it rains a lot!) either way, finishing the day with an open fire, loved ones, great food, and excellent wine!
Ema Beka, Trainee Project Agent
Ema Beka started her journey with Story Contracting in 2019 as a Trainee Project Agent.
The attraction to Story
I love that my job allows me to constantly challenge myself, in that there is always a new project or initiative I can commit to. I am lucky that I find genuine enjoyment in the whole process of solving technical and logistical problems to ultimately take a design and physically create it – again, always pushing myself to produce the best quality possible. I also really enjoy working in a team environment in that I find the greatest satisfaction contributing to a collaborative effort and achieving the successful outcome together.
Inspiring myself and others
I find my general inspiration comes from my passion for engineering itself; I get true excitement diving into the details of drawings and the scheme and using my skills and abilities to execute the project. I am also inspired by the potential influence and effect we as an industry have on the world, and I am highly motivated to give my part throughout my career. On a daily basis, I find it inspiring to see others (my colleagues, line managers, mentors etc.) perform their roles skilfully, powerfully, and with integrity, while also endorsing positive and compassionate human relationships as a value.
Jumping over the hurdles
At this stage in my life my work-life balance is ideal; I manage my workload to suit my after-work commitments, and I have hobbies to reset my mind each night. As I progress though, I am aware and prepared to put in the extra effort likely needed to control and maintain this balance so I can continue to enjoy my career and home life equally.
I love a sunny summer weekend. A perfect day would be playing an early morning football game, having a meal on a rooftop patio in town, love catching a play in the theatre so why not throw that in there, love a backyard fire and BBQ into the evening, and then let’s finish the night with card games and Russian tea with the family.