International Women in Engineering Day – Pam Robertshaw of Raytheon UK
Like most, Pam found her flair for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) at school. Combining his love for problem solving and his proactive role as a young Sea Cadet – Pam set his sights on a career in the armed forces.
“I became interested in engineering in my mid-teens and my physics teacher told me that good engineers would always find work. At the time, my dad had been laid off and had been out of work for six months, so that was important to me. said Pam. “I took courses in physics and maths at GCSE and A level, but I also took the opportunity to find out what a career in engineering would really be like. So I signed up for a Women into Science and Engineering (WISE) summer vacation course during my A Levels. It gave me a real insight into engineering as a profession and the opportunities that could be available to me.
After his baccalaureate, Pam immediately enlisted in the Royal Navy in the UK, her home, where she remained for 13 years as an air engineering officer, where she held a variety of positions – from managing the maintenance of fleets of helicopters to work in Whitehall as a military assistant to the Vice Chief of the Defense Staff.
After completing his MBA at Imperial College London, Pam made the leap to the corporate side at Rolls-Royce PLC.
“I joined Rolls-Royce PLC where I spent 15 years working first in Defense Aerospace as a Business Development Manager and then Program Manager on the Joint Strike Fighter Program where I ‘ve held a number of program manager positions including delivery of three new engine types on the Trent 1000 and Trent 7000 programs for Boeing and Airbus.
Now Head of Engineering Performance Excellence at Raytheon UK, Pam works to empower engineers – encouraging them to always take the time to work on their professional development.
“We are so busy at Raytheon UK that it is difficult to create opportunities for our engineers to take time off for training and continuous professional development. It’s so important that we do this to continue to have the most skilled engineers who can deliver cutting-edge technologies and products.
While his job allows him to work with his current cohort of engineers – Pam is passionate about supporting the next generation of engineers through her work as a STEM Ambassador. After serving as a STEM Ambassador for five years, she supported a number of students in the Raytheon Technologies Quadcopter Challenge, hosted CV workshops and gave keynote speeches to future engineers.
According to a recent survey, young people who attend STEM awareness events are more likely to know what engineers do – but only a quarter of respondents had attended such an event. That is why PamThe work of as a STEM ambassador is so important.
“When I joined the Royal Navy, only 7% of women were in STEM roles, whereas the average now is around 15%. However, this is still not enough and awareness events are playing a role. essential role in sparking interest in STEM careers and, more importantly, providing and celebrating role models.
So how does she hope to see the sector progress over the next few years to encourage more women in STEM?
“I would love to see more female role models step forward and be promoted to positions of influence in STEM companies and organizations. Over the course of my career, I have really struggled to identify female role models or mentors who could helping me overcome problems and challenges. I now consider this one of my main responsibilities – to reach out and help women move forward.
Find out more about Raytheon UK’s STEM work here.