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Jonathan Greenhalgh International Women's Day

Empowering Women in STEM: Lessons from Jayne Taylor-Whitticks' Engineering Journey

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This year's International Women's Day theme is "Embrace Equity". Equity isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a must-have. A focus on gender equity must be part of every society's DNA. And it's critical to understand the difference between equity and equality. The IWD 2023 campaign theme aims to drive a worldwide understanding why Equal opportunities aren't enough!

Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion. Through the process of equity, we can reach equality.

As a female-led organisation, Employment Solutions understands the importance of highlighting and celebrating international women's day. To celebrate this year's event, we spoke to Jayne Taylor-Whitticks, Founder and Owner of Magna Inspections.

We spoke about Jayne's incredible engineering journey, overcoming adversity in a predominantly male industry to seize equity and how she became a globally renowned business owner, Meturlagist and Welding Inspector.

Jayne had an interest in the sciences and engineering from a young age, but like most girls in the 80s, she was steered away from what we're traditionally seen as boys' subjects. It wasn't until she was working as a Technical Translator in France that she was given the opportunity to train as a radiographer. Jayne excelled and went on to perform the radiography on turbine blades for Rolls Royce.

On her return to the UK, spurred on by her success in France, she began her degree in Welding Engineering & Meturlagy, an eight-year journey that put her on the path to where she is today. 

As an Engineer now at the top of her sector, she is highly respected across the industry and has worked on several notable projects such as; The Shard, Hinkley Point, Sellafield, Everton's new football stadium, and many others.

In 2012 Jayne was honoured with an award for her contribution to her field by The Women In Business National Awards, winning the category Women in a Man's world and Overall Women of Achievement. Following this, she has toured schools, speaking and inspiring girls interested in engineering careers.

When asked what the industry needs to do better, Jayne replied, "The industry needs to keep up; there are still too many Fabrication Shops with no facilities such as toilets and changing rooms for women". She also said, "there has been a big swing in the attitude towards women in engineering since the 80s and 90s, and things are getting much better".

Jayne is a shining example of what can be achieved by embracing equity for all. Get more information on International Womens Day 2023. (LINK) 

You can watch the whole interview below.