After Paxton employees recently gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day, Mechanical Engineer, Anisha Gathani discusses her journey into the field, being a STEM Ambassador and how we can inspire women entering the profession.
Figures are rising but there is still more to be done to increase the number of women taking on engineering roles in the UK. According to a study published by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) in Autumn 2021, there are currently 906,785 female engineers in Britain. This makes up just 14.5% of all engineers nationally, compared with 4.6% in 2016.
Anisha Gathani, 26, is a Mechanical Design Engineer. She joined Paxton in 2018 after completing a Scholarship with the company during a mechanical engineering Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the universities of Brighton and Sussex.
Discussing her education before working at Paxton, Gathani explains: “Prior to my studies I did not realise the industry was so male dominated. Only 5% of people on my courses were women, but this has never held me back.
“I fell into it at school as I enjoy maths and physics. I come from an all-girl family and I was the one always fixing things. I love Lego and that is where it began at an early age. My teachers knew this and encouraged me to investigate engineering as I like putting stuff together and solving problems with clever design.”
Paxton is currently hiring people for its Development teams and other departments. They are a global security technology manufacturer that celebrates International Women’s Day every year. This year they have held a working lunch event at their Brighton based headquarters, where employees celebrated the achievement of diversity and inclusivity within their organisation.
Gathani said: “Paxton celebrating International Women’s Day is an important thing as it provides a platform for women to share their success stories and the challenges they have faced in the workplace.
“I find it extremely inspiring listening to colleague’s experiences and words of wisdom. Working for a company who promote equality and encourage positive change, is something which is really important to me.”
Paxton is focused on creating an equal and consciously inclusive environment for women. This includes: Six months of full maternity pay; Menopause guidance sessions; World-class onsite facilities and direction taken year on year to close the gender pay gap.
They have trained female mentors and coaches available to support colleagues across the business. These efforts are recognised nationally and Paxton are considered a forward-thinking and leading employer, winning numerous awards. Most notably, they have been regularly featured in the ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For’.
Gathani has worked for Paxton for over three years. The team she works with is made up of four talented women that are leading Paxton’s product design. Gathani explains: “Being at the beginning of my career, it is great to see it starting to change, with more women managers and colleagues in my industry. It shows me that I can climb the ladder in my field.
“I work with inspiring women engineers at all different levels at Paxton. There are talented senior managers, and we are seeing more and more women join our Development teams. This is both encouraging and inspiring, but there is still work to be done.”
Currently there are approximately 180,000 engineering-based vacancies in the UK. Inspiring young students and removing gender bias from STEM subjects could help to close this gap and support the demand over the coming years. Gathani strives for this change in her spare time as a STEM Ambassador. She said: “Engineering is something that has always been important to me.
“I go into schools to be that female face for young girls interested in STEM subjects. I encourage them that we need more women to widen the engineering talent pool.”
Engineering roles are vital internationally for the development of societies infrastructure across all industry sectors. This has historically been supported by young people entering the profession through lengthy study. In November 2021, at COP26 in Glasgow, the UN declared the need for more engineers globally to create the technology we need over the coming decade.
Gathani concludes: “I cannot recommend engineering as a profession enough. It gives you the opportunity to make a real difference, be creative and confront many of the world’s biggest concerns.”
To find out more information about Paxton, visit: https://www.paxton-access.com/