• IN THE NEWS

Elena Bonezzi : she certainly can engineer

June 2019
Chair of the cross-institutional committee She Can Engineer, Elena Bonezzi, has a message for us all from the recent celebration event organised by the committee for International Women in Engineering Day — diversity is “transforming the future”.

Whitby Wood design engineer Elena led the committee of 37 volunteers from seven institutions (ICE, IMechE, IChemE, CIBSE, RAeS, IStructE, IET) in organising the event, which also marked the centenary of the Women in Engineering Society. An excellent opportunity to take stock of the progress made on diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.

Elena Bonezzi - She Can Engineer
Celebrating … Elena is kneeling, second from left

The opening remarks were delivered by Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London, who emphasised the responsibility that each woman in the profession has to be a visible and accessible role model. The panel discussion that followed was moderated by Mara Makoni, Senior Consultant at WSP and Founding Chair of the UK IT Young Professional Forum. Panel members included: Christina Riley, Senior Planner at Kier and Vice Chair of Kier LGBT & Allies Network; Catriona Schomolke, Senior Vice President, Operational Centres of Excellence at Jacobs; Nike Folayan, WSP Associate Director; and Mark Whitby, Design Director at Whitby Wood.

Elena Bonezzi - She Can Engineer
The panel. “The underlying trend is revolutionary”… Mark Whitby

Mark focused on the idea of positive change, drawing on his 60 years’ experience as a ‘witness’ to how and why it has happened. On the future he comments, “At the moment, if amongst the 20s group 30% are women but amongst the 60s only 2% are women, then on average it’s only going to be 16% and the rate of change over the next ten years will look slow. But the underlying trend is revolutionary”.

Elena is clear about where the profession stands on gender diversity right now. She says, “We are pushing really hard and progressing well. But we need to do more”. She has opened up the debate at Whitby Wood too, for although our record is reasonably strong — we are currently at 26% women on the engineering staff (37.5% of graduates, 23% of design engineers, 50% of senior engineers, but no associates or directors) — we acknowledge that there are challenges still to be faced. And not just in gender mix but in all forms of diversity and inclusion.

This year’s event was held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in London on 24th June, following International Women in Engineering Day on the 23rd. The She Can Engineer event was supported by 21 engineering practices, including Whitby Wood.

In 2019, Whitby Wood was shortlisted for Diversity Leader of the Year in the 2019 NCE Companies of the Year awards : news story >

photos : courtesy She Can Engineer

  news index
Also in the news

The hut the scouts will build

JUne 2020
A terrific scout hut project with architect Pattern — for the 2nd/9th scout group in Ruislip, west London
Greenwich Peninsula Design District

Bird's eye view : Greenwich peninsula Design District

JUne 2020
Drone operators Digital Wasp have released a terrific aerial video

Seb and Chris cycle to MIPIM — virtually

May 2020
They made it! All the way from London to Cannes on static bikes ... for Coram
The Wiltern, Perivale, London

The Wiltern gets planning approval

May 2020
Amro announces the granting of planning approval for residential project in Ealing
Emma Francois

Supporting RedR — volunteering

May 2020
Emma Francois' latest volunteer work with disaster relief charity RedR

Five staircases in the City of London

May 2020
Working with Littlehampton Welding on part of a commercial fit-out in the City of London.

Engineer scales Mt Bintumani for CODEP without leaving home

May 2020
Mike Gatfield scales a mountain of stairs for Sierra Leone charity
Fairfield Homes, Croydon

Planning approval granted for Fairfield Homes project

May 2020
Brick By Brick's new residential project for Croydon moves to the next stage

Progress at Preston Barracks site in Brighton

April 2020
Latest site pictures from Henry Construction of residential scheme in Brighton
Kingswood project, Surrey

Legal & General Kingswood project gets green light

April 2020
Planning approval granted for £215m retirement community project
Cycle to MIPIM 2020

Seb + Chris cycle to MIPIM 2020

January 2020
Couch potatoes to elite athletes! Support Seb + Chris as they attempt the Cycle to MIPIM endurance charity challenge
Cup Cube installation, London

Engineering art in support of The Cup Fund

January 2020
Visit Cup Cube and see just how many disposable cups are used in the UK ... EVERY MINUTE!

Packing 16 buildings into the top five

January 2020
AJ selects Greenwich Peninsula Design District in its top five UK buildings to watch out for in 2020
Whitby Wood Bristol office

Bristol office takes off!

December 2019
Our Bristol office opens, and we are appointed on a commercial redevelopment project in the city.
Tolworth Tower

Tolworth Tower project gains planning consent

, ,
November 2019
First phase: tower refurbishment and adaptation, retaining the distinctive concrete frame