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Meet Jen.

“The stigma of females working alongside men on an equal footing has been challenging. Seeing the changes in the industry has been very positive and rewarding.”

This #INWED2023 we’re shining a spotlight on some of the inspirational females working for us at the Shepley Group, helping us to build a legacy of excellence. Meet Jennifer Finley, Commercial Lead at Shepley Engineers. Learn more about what drove her to engineering and her advice to other females who are looking at it as a potential career option.

How or why did you choose your career path?

I have worked for Shepley Engineers for over 17 years. I started off in office admin, manning the reception desk with PR duties to the Managing Director. Looking to better my career I was offered a position working in the commercial team where I developed through the ranks to my current position as Commercial Lead.


The reason I chose engineering was having lived in Cumbria all my life and understanding the importance of Sellafield to the surrounding area and the impact it has, I thought working for a well-established engineering firm like Shepley would set me in good stead for a long career.

What inspires you?

Working for a company like Shepley you get to see a wide range of projects develop through their life cycle. I personally enjoy the challenge of what projects can throw at you, especially when they can be very challenging as this gives you great satisfaction when you have project success.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in the workplace?

Being female in a historically male dominated working environment, the stigma of females working alongside men on an equal footing has been challenging. Seeing the changes in the industry has been very positive and rewarding.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

To see the financial outcomes of successful projects that benefit the business. I enjoy working alongside the project and engineering teams, working hand in hand to deliver project and business goals. Seeing any business success is exciting and rewarding.

What does a typical day in your job involved?

Running a team of Cost Engineers on Decommissioning, Mechanical & Electrical Engineering contracts across the Shepley Group within West Cumbria.

Managing these Cost Engineers on:
• the preparation of monthly valuations
• the analysis of Subcontractor applications for payment
• the measurement and documentation of variations
• the production of the Final Account
• Guidance on NEC3 contracts
• Overseeing CENs over £10,000 value

Attending monthly EAC meetings to discuss variance analysis
Attending monthly project meetings to monitor cost and EAC review
Forecasting monthly outlooks on future costs to project
Updating programmes of works and forecasts monthly via Primavera P6 for Client discussion
Monthly production of accounts to senior management
Extensive knowledge of the NEC3 family of contracts Production of labour rate models for tenders and ongoing projects The negotiation, collation and procurement of subcontract packages

How have you progressed since joining the Company?

I started as admin receptionist and progressed to commercial lead. Shepley supported me through my degree in business management and many other courses to help my development through the business. I have enjoyed this progression through the business having learnt many life skills along the way.

What would you say to girls in school who may be considering engineering as a career choice?

Engineering and more specifically Shepley Engineers can offer you a number of working opportunities to start and develop your career in whatever discipline you choose. Engineering as a whole is multi-disciplined, it therefore has a number of opportunities attached to it. If I was starting again, I would have started Engineering from leaving school now knowing the possible opportunities that are achievable.

Want to know more?
Read more about our women in engineering or check out our careers page

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