BIRMINGHAM (12 February 2020) — Burns & McDonnell has embarked on a new partnership with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) as part of its work to improve diversity in the engineering sector. The partnership will see Burns & McDonnell work with WES to provide new opportunities for women studying and working in engineering.
Burns & McDonnell, located in Birmingham, is a specialist engineering-construction firm that delivers the overhead transmission, substation and underground transmission infrastructure that transports power to homes and businesses. WES has been inspiring female engineers — through campaigns and projects ranging from networking schemes to establishing the flagship annual International Women in Engineering Day — since 1919.
Last year, Burns & McDonnell committed to improving gender diversity in its own company, signing the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Inclusive Leadership Pledge. As part of its commitments, Burns & McDonnell will build a pipeline for producing diverse talent in the West Midlands, and work to have women make up one-third of its senior leadership team by 2023.
Burns & McDonnell operates a Diversity Advisory Committee, which encourages employees to understand and value diversity. The company also proactively engages with students from a young age, with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach in schools and programmes such as the Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains, to help promote diversity in the STEM leaders of the future.
Polly Osborne, an electrical engineer and STEM ambassador at Burns & McDonnell, said:
“I’m excited that Burns & McDonnell will be working with WES to support and celebrate inspirational female engineers. There’s still so much we need to do to challenge the traditional perceptions of a career in engineering and ensure we attract and retain the diverse workforce we desperately need. Engineering is for everyone, and there’s no more exciting time than now to work in the sector.”
Jonathan Chapman, UK Managing Director at Burns & McDonnell, said:
“Only 12% of U.K. engineers are female, despite women making up almost half of the workforce. If we are to solve the challenges we face at this pivotal time for the energy sector, such as cutting carbon emissions, we cannot afford to continue with a limited workforce. At Burns & McDonnell, we are not complacent about the need for change. I’m proud that we are leading the way through our new partnership with WES and the commitments we have set through the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Inclusive Leadership Pledge.”
About Burns & McDonnell
Founded by two entrepreneurs in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies made up of more than 7,600 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and innovators working in the U.K. and throughout the world. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned and is proud to be on Fortune’s 2019 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.
In 2017, Burns & McDonnell opened the U.K. office in Birmingham. With more than 120 years of experience designing and building infrastructure throughout the world, Burns & McDonnell is now taking forward a long-term investment plan in the U.K.
With the U.K energy market undergoing a transformation, our focus is on providing a differentiated service across technical consultancy, engineering services and project delivery as the U.K. adapts to a low carbon future underpinned by smart technologies.