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woman wearing safety gloves and glasses, standing in front of industrial press brake

INWED 2022 – Katy Gall, Trainee Press Brake Operator

23 June 2022

As part of our International Women in Engineering Day 2022 series, we spoke to Katy Gall, Trainee Press Brake Operator. Katy talks about what led her from her Scottish roots to a career in metal bending in the North-East of England, the best life advice she’s ever received, and what innovation means to her.

woman wearing safety gloves and glasses, standing in front of industrial press brake

Katy, first of all – why engineering as a career?

Engineering is such a varied route. You can’t master one technique without understanding another to a certain level first, there’s always a challenge. Engineering is always growing and there’s always something new to learn. It can take you from a first job up to retirement – there aren’t many jobs these days that you could say are for life.

Engineering doesn’t judge – come in, do a good job and work hard; and you’ll go far.

 

What ignited the spark for you?

I have always wondered how things worked. I’m left-handed so have always had to work out alternative ways of working basic daily tasks like using scissors or opening a tin! Having to think outside the box constantly gives you a unique stance, and you learn to approach things from a different angle. That’s an important trait in Engineering and something I apply to my work in metal bending every day.

 

The theme for INWED this year is ‘inventors and innovators’. Are there any women working in Engineering who inspire/d you or who you think are doing great work?

I have had a few brilliant lecturers and trainers along the way – one female boss in particular showed me it was possible to be professional, fiery and knowledgeable all with an influential mindset. Everyone was held to the same standard. We have some great female engineers at Universal Wolf – for example, when I first joined, I was advised to watch and learn from Melanie Stewart, our Welding and Fabrication Lead.

 

What would your advice be to those who are considering a career in the engineering sector?

Get moving! Engineering is for those that want a trade for life. A positive mindset and willingness to work hard will get you halfway, skill and patience will take you the rest. (I am still working on the latter!)

 

What was your route into your current role?

I got to where I am by not giving up. Every choice you make in life takes you down a different road. If you keep a solid focus on where you want to go, accept support and training and knuckle down, you will one day make it.

 

What advice would you give to other women thinking about entering the sector?

The mindset that engineering is a male-dominated environment needs to change. Engineering is for everyone – from the creatives to the technical and mathematically-minded. As a sheet metal fabrication company, we have all these capabilities and more – and that’s what makes us a fantastic team.

All of these skills can be used to imagine a different world – design it, build it, fabricate it, and perfect it. Your way.

 

About INWED

International Women in Engineering Day, run by Women’s Engineering Society (WES) is celebrating its 9th year in 2022. Figures as of June 2021 show that 16.5% of engineers are women. INWED gives women engineers around the world a profile when they are still hugely under-represented in their professions. As the only platform of its kind, it plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers. To learn more visit https://www.inwed.org.uk/