Angharad Wrigley, a 33-year-old single mother, left school after her GCSEs and until four years ago ran a small village shop in the Wye Valley. Now she is a technical services engineer and part way through her degree here.
When she reached 30, a reassessment of her ambitions saw Angharad enrol on a part-time HNC Civil Engineering and Construction course at the University. She worked part-time at Waitrose to fund her studies.
It was at this time that she saw an advert for a vacancy at specialist steel bridging manufacturer Mabey Bridge, based in Chepstow. With no real expectation of landing the job, Angharad applied, if only for the interview experience.
Two years later Angharad Wrigley has established herself as technical services engineer at the company’s Lydney facility.
It’s a position of responsibility in a team which is the main point of contact between the company and the client. The team pulls in technical details of major engineering projects secured, analyses them and makes sure everything is in order to allow the CAD department to produce the drawings and specifications for the project.
Angharad said: “My gender was no hindrance whatsoever with regards to getting a job in engineering with Mabey Bridge. They were more than happy to take me based on my enthusiasm and proven ability as I’d done so well in my HNC in engineering. I was feeling very confident after a good first year on the course and they said they’d rather have somebody with a willing-to-learn attitude.”
Since joining Mabey Bridge, Angharad has continued with her education, achieving her HND and is working her way through a degree.
She said: “I’ve seen no evidence that gender is an issue here and men and women are treated equal. I don’t feel any discrimination and I certainly don’t consider gender has any negative connotations for my career progression within the company.
“Engineering is quite a geeky profession. It can be quite a quiet, sensible and serious environment and I suppose it’s nice to have female input and to mix things up a little.”