22 Jun 2024

International Women in Engineering Day: Thoughts from a Marine Engineering Cadet

For International Women in Engineering Day, we spoke to Marine Engineering Cadet, IMarEST Student Member, and soon-to-be Third Engineer Eloise Winterflood, about her thoughts on the day and what being a woman in engineering means to her.


Q: What does being a woman in engineering mean to you?

"Being a woman in engineering is empowering as it has its challenges, most notably the fact that the industry is very male-dominated. However, from my experiences in the industry from both the cadetship and prior, it has proved to me that being a female engineer is something everyone is encouraging and supportive of. I have been given opportunities to learn so much more than I would have initially expected due to the accepting nature of those I have worked with. The engineering industry, especially at sea, has very few women and I feel honoured to be joining those who have persevered through all the challenges that being an engineer can bring (regardless of gender) and to have a community where we can share extraordinary experiences together through working and learning as a team. "


Q: What advice would you like to share with people in the early stages of a marine engineering career?

"My biggest piece of advice will always be to persevere and aim for a goal that is special to you. Personally, I have had my ups and downs throughout studying and working at sea and looking back there are things I would do differently if I had the hindsight I have now. On the days when you feel beat down and worn out, try to do something even if it's small to engage your brain and continue to learn. Ask for help and accept all the knowledge and advice from those around you. You deserve to achieve your dreams and no matter what hardships you may face, it is a thousand percent worth it. I have just graduated and I feel nothing but pride and excitement for the career I will have as an engineer and I am so thankful for where I am today."


Q: What was your experience of studying at a technical school, and how did it benefit you?

"At the age of 14, I made the decision to take the opportunity to study engineering at a University Technical College (UTC). Lincoln UTC gave me the skills, mindset and opportunities to learn and develop as an engineer. I feel so privileged to have both GCSEs and A-levels in engineering as this is a unique subject to be able to study from a young age. I highly recommend to anyone looking to get into the STEM industry to consider a technical school as it truly changed my life and opened the doors to where I am today as I embark on the start of my career as a soon-to-be third engineer in the Merchant Navy. 


Q: What are your thoughts on this year's hashtag, #enhancedbyengineering?

"I absolutely support the message behind #enhancedbyengineering as I love to see the encouragement to women to join an industry that they are passionate about and thrive on the opportunities the industry can bring. I believe we should not be held back based on gender in any industry. So long as you are competent, willing to learn and eager to do the work required, those are the most important things. Therefore, in my opinion, women should feel enhanced by engineering and be proud to be part of an amazing and vast industry.

I am certainly proud to be amongst the amazing female engineers in this industry."