Emma Clement at Northern Power Futures

Emma Clement is an engineering graduate from Cambridge University and Consultant with Urban Foresight.

Emma spoke on the panel for The Future Of Making Things – a golden era work in advanced manufacturing at Nothern Power Futures and had a chat with us about how diversity contributes to the growing success of the STEM sector.

Hi Emma! Can you introduce yourself to our NPF readers?

I’m Emma Clement, I’m a consultant with Urban Foresight. We’re a smart cities consultancy. I do a lot of work in our technology, innovation and strategy strand.

Can you tell us a bit more about what Urban Foresight do for people who aren’t too sure?

It’s quite broad what we get involved in but ultimately we work for the sustainable development of urban spaces and surrounding areas. We work with technology providers who have technologies that they want to realise, and private sector organisations to solve their problems.

What do you hope to gain from NPF?

I’m here to talk about advanced manufacturing and how this will be making a difference in the manufacturing sector. This is extremely important for the sustainable development of urban economies. I’m a manufacturing engineer by training and I spent a couple of years in the manufacturing industry, so I’ve got firsthand experience of what it’s like to work in that hi-tech world. So I’m here to talk about how it can be embraced and enhanced by the industry.

When you say engineering, the first thing that comes to mind is that it can be a bit of a boys club. Did you find it was a diverse environment or where there times where you the only woman in there?

I’ve regularly been the only woman working on different projects or with different teams. I had quite a strange start to my career as I went to an all girls college, so when I was studying engineering it was an extremely diverse environment. Entering the industry and realising how male-dominated it is was a bit of a shock, especially because across the industry we see a negative correlation with how many women remain in engineering careers. It’s not often you will be managed by a woman in engineering and manufacturing.

 

It’s quite rare for women to have a full career in engineering, and that’s to do with the cultural hang-ups from 20/30 years ago when women typically weren’t expected to have careers for life in the manufacturing industry. The culture is changing right now and it is really important that we keep the conversation alive for the benefit of everybody in the industry. Not just for young women who want to be in it but for everybody. Diversity equals successful teams!

Have you got advice for young women wanting to start a career in STEM?

Do it! I don’t want to be flippant but perfect your eye roll because you will face some challenging situations. You need to be able to take a deep breath and move on. But It’s a really rewarding career, it’s a really interesting industry, it’s going places. We are on the cusp of change and I would recommend it.

One word to describe NPF?

Inspiring! It’s really good to see so many people here interested in furthering the north-east economy and talking about digital careers.

It’s quite rare for women to have a full career in engineering, and that’s to do with the cultural hang-ups from 20/30 years ago when women typically weren’t expected to have careers for life in the manufacturing industry. The culture is changing right now and it is really important that we keep the conversation alive for the benefit of everybody in the industry. Not just for young women who want to be in it but for everybody. Diversity equals successful teams! 

Read more blogs here

Northern Power Futures photographs taken by Thomas Jackson at TyneSight Photography

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