Claire Shinar is a Senior Consultant in buildings & construction team where many of the professionals she works with are structural engineers working in design consultancies. We caught up with Claire for International Women’s Day 2022, and asked her for her views and experiences as a recruiter and as someone with a vital role to play in the hiring of women engineers in the UK.
Q. What made you choose a career in recruitment?
The money! And the fact that I had an impact on what I earn, there is a direct correlation between the relationships I build and quality of service I provide and my own career progression.
Q. Why the buildings & construction sector?
I studied interior architecture at university so already had an interest and understanding of the buildings market, the technical language and the software so it was a natural choice for me.
Q. What do you think are the barriers to there being more women in engineering or technical roles?
It isn’t spoken about enough or accessible at a younger age for everyone to take an interest or think about it as a career option. I also think there aren’t enough role models who are visible to the younger generations who are heavily influenced by social media.
Q. How can we help employers overcome some of these barriers?
A lot of companies have decided to target universities for graduates, encouraging women into the sector when they may not have considered it as an option. I do believe this could work if we encourage girls earlier in their education journey, with apprenticeships, work experience weeks from schools and colleges for example. We do see some companies with STEM ambassadors visiting schools to discuss career options around STEM subjects, but there is still more to be done.
Q.Has there been any noticeable change in the gender ratio of roles you recruit for in recent times?
Yes absolutely! Some clients now pride themselves on their hiring with 50% of new recruits being female and interestingly 55% of my placements in Q1 of this year are female. Gender diversity is a hot topic with organisations realising that they are missing out on talent if they don’t actively seek to address gender diversity. The recruitment process has adapted and changed and we actively contribute to ensuring diversity when hiring. Companies are driving diversity and inclusion and I have seen an emphasis on interest in female engineers.
Q. How does Carrington West benefit from diversity as a company?
We benefit by no one being singled out and everyone feeling included. Our internal training and development programmes as well as our company culture all play a part in encouraging opinions and input from people with different backgrounds and experiences. In terms of specific support for women, I don’t feel CW doesn’t anything especially different for women compared with male employees. In my view this is a good thing because it just means it does a lot for everyone. There is ample support available in terms of health, mental wellbeing support, maternity, paternity, flexible working and equity of opportunity.
Q. Who most inspires you?
Those closest to me such as friends and family who are successful and achieve what they set out to achieve.