'Better the balance, better the world'
‘Better the balance, better the world’ is this year’s theme for International Woman’s Day (IWD) which is celebrated on the 8th March. The statement “Balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue” written on the IWD website resonates strongly with Hitachi’s ethos that diversity is the wellspring of innovation and a powerful growth engine. Hitachi regards personal differences — gender, nationality, work history, age, sexual orientation, and philosophy — as facets of people's individuality. By respecting employees' individualities and positioning them as an advantage, Hitachi frames its diversity and inclusion as conducive to both the individual's and the company's sustainable growth. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.
Gender Balance at HICSE
In the UK rail industry, despite amazing growth, women are still underrepresented especially in technical or senior roles. In an attempt to redress the balance the Department for Transport actually set a target, specifying that women working in transport should match the number of men by the end of the decade. For its part, HICSE is supporting this initiative by offering flexible working opportunities to both men and women and creating a culture that encourages a positive work-life balance. As the organisation grows it’s encouraging to see the increasing levels of diversity within our teams across all departments but we must do more to encourage more women to join the business.
Almost a year ago HICSE became a Company Partner of the Women in Engineering Society (WES) and this has provided opportunities for staff to attend a number of events, workshops and even an award ceremony! We’ve also been involved in projects which have raised our profile, ensuring that an ever increasing number of people know who HICSE are, and what we do. Below are a few examples:
Women in Engineering - A Discussion
In October, Mel Sutcliffe travelled to Swansea to participate in the filming of a ‘Women in Engineering’ video, organised by the College of Engineering at Swansea University. Mel was one of three women present who currently work in an engineering role, and they were joined by a number of students, all of whom are studying for a variety of engineering qualifications. The resulting video is available to view here: https://www.hitachi-infocon.com/women-in-engineering-a-discussion/
Lottie’s Tour is an annual project which is organised by the WES Young Members Board. It aims to show young girls and boys that there are a huge range of careers available in engineering - an engineer isn’t just the person who fixes your car or works on the railway wearing orange! Over 150 companies participated in the 2018 tour, and HICSE joined the likes of the National Grid, Aston Martin and Balfour Beatty in welcoming Lottie to our offices. Below are a selection of photos showing Lottie during her visit to HICSE in Bradford on Avon (huge thanks to Nick Krainc for his fantastic photography skills):
WES’ INWED18 Afternoon Tea event.
In June, Mel Sutcliffe attended the 2018 International Women in Engineering Day’s Afternoon Tea event which was organised by WES, and hosted at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s headquarters in Carlton House Terrace, near Buckingham Palace.
The afternoon started with champagne on arrival, followed by tea and tiny cakes throughout the afternoon. The keynote speech was presented by the Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Dr Hayaatun Sillem, and the event ended with an award ceremony, recognising the achievements of individuals under the banner of ‘Returners and Transferrers’: http://www.inwed.org.uk/top-50-women-in-engineering.html
It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other engineers (both male and female), and to increase the profile of HICSE within the engineering community.