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Women in engineering at FCDO Services 

At FCDO Services, our women engineers work on projects every day to keep the UK diplomatic platform at home and overseas, safe and secure.

We have many different types of engineers working for us, from structural to technical and we are pleased to say women are represented in all these disciplines.

The work an engineer does to make our buildings and infrastructure safe is often hidden behind the scenes. We spoke to two of our women engineers from across the business to highlight the work these amazing unsung heroes do, and why they love working for FCDO Services.

Becoming a structural engineer

Kirsty is a chartered structural engineer and has been with FCDO Services for six years. When she was younger, she wanted to be an architect and was inspired by the city-building simulation game, SimCity.

At school her passion was in science, maths and solving puzzles. For her work experience she got a placement in a structural engineering firm, which opened her eyes to the professions you could apply these subjects to.

At university, Kirsty studied Civil Engineering and specialised in structural engineering, which is looking after the bones of a building to make sure they’re strong enough they won’t fall down.

At FCDO Services, structural engineers work on a mixture of new and historic buildings all over the world. The projects vary from checking and updating historic structures in seismic locations, to designing structures of new buildings, all while keeping the integrity of the architect’s vision at the forefront of their solutions.

Things have come on a long way

With a career spanning over 20 years, our electrical engineer, Jen, has seen many cultural shifts for women working in this industry.

When Jen entered the profession in the late 90’s, the demographic of her colleagues was mainly 40–50 year-old white men. There was sense that if you worked hard, you also played hard. Jen had to fit in and she did so by being authentic and confident. She was a pioneer of her time.

Jen’s colleagues welcomed and looked after her even though she was shaking things up. She learnt new skills and built strong relationships with them and they supported her as her career developed.

For Kirsty, in the beginning it was sometimes daunting being the only woman on a building site. But times are changing and it’s no longer unusual to be a woman in construction.

A global perspective

FCDO Services sponsored Jen to become a chartered electrical engineer, which meant she was able to travel overseas to many different countries to carry out electrical testing.

Being an electrical engineer at FCDO Services means you get to ensure buildings that have suffered damage due to earthquakes, floods or even terrorist attack can continue to be used for diplomatic work.

It soon became apparent on Jen’s travels that the opportunities she had in the UK were not the same for women in other countries. The changes being made at home, from education to occupational health, is still a long way off from happening elsewhere.

FCDO Services employs country-based staff who are better placed to respond to the needs of each Post and we’re pleased to say that we have women engineers represented across the globe.

However, we recognise there is still a long way to go, which is why we are doing even more work with schools and outreach teams to promote the amazing opportunities we have here for a career in engineering.

A sense of accomplishment

One thing Jen and Kirsty love about their career at FCDO Services is the chance to work in beautiful buildings all over the world, some of which are where significant political agreements have been reached.

Jen and Kirsty get a great sense of accomplishment working in engineering and have always worked in collaborative and supportive teams, who give them the freedom to tackle things the ways they want to.

At FCDO Services there are so many opportunities to work on projects that make a real difference to real lives. We support the diplomatic platform by keeping assets, information and people safe and secure.

Go for it! Step into a career in engineering

Jen and Kirsty’s advice to anyone considering a career in engineering is that if it interests you then go for it. At FCDO Services you have an opportunity to carve your own career path and these women are proof of that.

Whether it’s construction or technical engineering you’re interested in, FCDO Services has something for you.

You can discover even more about our opportunities on our careers website today.

Why not sign up for our job alerts too? You will get notified when a job in your field of interest gets added to our website, so you can quickly apply.

Further links

  • FCDO Services careers

    Explore the wide variety of roles and careers we have on offer within our organisation, and see where your future could take you

  • The Tomorrow’s Engineers Code

    FCDO Services are a signatory of The Tomorrow’s Engineers Code. We’re part of a community working to increase the diversity and number of young people entering engineering careers