Support from Doosan Babcock to encourage more women into engineering


Westway occupier, Doosan Babcock is leading the way as a major supporter for the recent National Women in Engineering Day, which was dedicated to raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering up and down the country, as well as showcasing the fantastic engineering careers available for girls.

In 2014, bucking industry-wide trends, Doosan Babcock attracted three times more female engineering apprentices than the national average – of the 94 apprentices hired, 9% were female, which compared to a 3% national average.

The company is also rightly proud to have talented women developing their engineering careers at various levels within the company at Renfrew, including: Selma Hunter, Director Business (Boiler and Process) and Process Director, Barbara Jackson, Manager, Green Development Group and Suzanne Birney, Trainee CAD Technologist.

With 30 years’ experience in the industry, Selma Hunter has worked her way up through the ranks within world class engineering firms and is currently Director Business (Boiler and Process) and Process Director for hydrocarbons and life sciences. As a woman in a male dominated environment, Selma acknowledges that there have been challenges along the way.

She said: “When people ask me what has kept me in the industry for 30 years, I remind them of the bigger picture. I have always been inspired by the fact that engineering doesn’t start with a finished product; it starts from the moment something is discovered in science to how these ideas materialise and affect humanity. From this perspective, you realise how fortunate you are to be involved in such a vast range of projects. I’ve worked on a countless number of fascinating projects, including one on Vitamin C and another on an underground gas storage facility! There really is something for everyone, and I’ve never felt being a woman has held me back in anything I’ve put my mind to.

“My message to all young women considering engineering would be – go for it, keep an open mind and when you are faced with constraints, don’t sit in splendid isolation, you can cope with anything you need to one step at a time.”

With seven years’ experience in the company, Barbara Jackson has a wide variety of experience under her belt ranging from project management, planning and site management. In January last year, Barbara moved from being the company’s only female site manager to be a project manager in the company’s new international services department. Barbara embraced this opportunity with open arms and relished the opportunity to transfer her project management skills to the newly created international services department.

At age 17, Suzanne Birney was keen to get straight into the world of work and applied for Doosan Babcock’s Apprenticeship Scheme. The first of her friends to leave school, Suzanne was delighted to be accepted onto the scheme while in her sixth year at school and got going straight away. In July 2012, Suzanne began her SCQF Level 6 in Design and Draughting and started working around various secondments within the drawing office. Just a month later, she had started a HND in Mechanical Engineering part-time at Glasgow Clyde College. Now as a trainee CAD Technologist, Suzanne is designing, modelling and drawing the component parts used in Doosan Babcock’s work. Two years into her HND course, Suzanne was granted direct entry into her second year on a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical and Electronic Systems Engineering at Glasgow Caledonian University. Now in the second year of her degree, Suzanne hopes to graduate in 2017. Suzanne’s dedication and success has been marked by an outstanding number of awards, with a total of 10 achieved in the past 12 months alone, including Scotland’s Modern Apprentice of the Year.

For more information on Doosan Babcock support for National Women into Engineering Day, please visit: