International Women in Engineering Day 202426th June 2024

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To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day 2024, we sat down with Intermediate Mechanical Engineer Jo Harding-Pitt to talk about her career journey in engineering and what inspires her.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?
I come from a family of motorsport fans, so initially as a kid I wanted to do what I needed to get me into that industry. When it turned out I wasn't too bad at STEM subjects at school, I pursued those at A Level and ended up doing an MEng in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Portsmouth.

What’s your career journey?
Throughout my degree, I did placements across multiple industries including engineering asset management and manufacturing. Upon completion of my MEng, I started a graduate scheme in Building Services and have since worked for a smart heating controls company, prior to starting at McCann & Partners nearly three years ago.

What obstacles/ challenges, if any, have you faced along the way?
I've just had a great time throughout my career in Building Services. As long as you're an inquisitive person with the confidence to ask questions and challenge ideas, you'll have a great time too.

How can we encourage more women into the industry?
Within the Bristol office, we have a 50/50 split of male and female employees - in our Mechanical team, 4/5 of us are women! The numbers are naturally balancing out over time with all the work being done in education to encourage not just more girls into STEM, but more people in general.

Describe a typical day at McCann and Partners for you in your role.
As an Intermediate Mechanical Engineer, my days mainly consist of guiding the Junior Engineers, checking calculations, schedules and drawings and writing reports and specifications. I also attend site visits and Design Team Meetings. We do a lot of our work in Revit (building information modelling software) so I get to play around with that at times too. As one of the chattier people in my office, I also enjoy catching up with all of the team both professionally and personally, while always advocating for a consistent office biscuit supply!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Everything will be alright in the end and if everything is not yet alright, it is not yet the end. Sounds downbeat, but sometimes you can get caught up in small details in a project and forget the bigger picture.