On International Women in Engineering Day, Team Wood is celebrating the lasting impact women are having across our technical industries and the brighter future they are enabling through their inspiring commitment to excellence.
We connected with a few of our leaders in Digital and Technology at Wood on the impact women have made in evolving our company over the years, the important role they hold within our organization today and how they are shaping the future of our industry.
Fiona McKie, Senior Vice President Digital and Technology Operations, believes that having an open mind to new ideas, ensuring team members are invested in the company’s mission and encouraging others throughout their careers are essential contributors to unlocking better solutions.
Fiona shared: “Making sure my team is diverse, empowered and feel part of the journey we are on is super important to me. Offering continuous opportunities to learn, welcoming new ideas and encouraging divergent thinking is a massive part of my role.
“I have always focused on being the best I can be at what I do and trust that this is recognised and supported in an organisation like Wood. I have been extremely fortunate to constantly progress in my career here, starting as a project engineer and now working as a senior vice president leading a specialised team and the organisation through a complex transformation in digital and technology endeavours.”
Penny Armitage, Vice President of Digital and Technology for the Projects BU, recognizes that making inclusion and belonging a part of the workplace culture is not only critical at the core human level of mutual respect, but also essential to having a successful business.
Penny explained: “There is extensive research that a truly inclusive company will attract and retain a diverse set of talent, increasing agility and inventiveness in their approach to innovation and thereby increasing the company’s offering and revenue.
“A balanced leadership team should have the strength to develop the best team, ensuring that each individual is enabled to perform at their best with equal opportunity to succeed and ensuring that everyone works in an environment where they feel safe, and all are empowered to call out disrespectful behaviours.”
Darren Martin, Chief Technology Officer, understands the key role that other leaders need to play in empowering women to step into larger leadership roles within the industry.
Darren elaborated: “Getting women to join technology is an issue in the first place, but getting them to stay and take leadership roles is even more challenging. When I build a team, I first look to have a diversity of thought. And I’m pleased to share that at Wood within the last 24 months, my leadership team has transformed from being entirely male to now being 60% female.
“For me, the most important aspect of creating a team is to ensure that there is solid collaboration globally to get the best of Wood’s people to all have a voice. That is why Digital and Technology created the CoLab experience – a physical, virtual and online ideation process – to ensure that everyone in the company can be heard when it comes to ideas and innovation.”
Jacqui Ferguson, a Director on the Wood Board, appreciates the importance of embracing greater diversity and inclusion both at Wood and across the wider industry.
Jacqui reflected: “In the engineering sector, while we are making some progress in increasing female representation, we must continue to do more. In particular, we must improve the pipeline of diverse young people entering engineering and technology.
“Wood is committed to this agenda and has set itself a target to increase gender diversity in its leadership ranks to 40% by 2030 and has signed up to the tomorrow’s engineer code, which commits Wood to working with the broader industry to inspire young people. With only 14.5% of women represented in the engineering workforce* against a significant business demand for engineering and tech skills, it’s a no brainer!”
*Source: EngineeringUK 2021