“It’s a great career path to take, and don’t be too scared to consider it.”
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 Leia Reid, Apprentice Welder at West Cumberland Engineering. 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 was interested in engineering when I was young and in Year 10 I took Product Design. I liked creating things, and this sparked my interest in an engineering course. I signed up to Gen2 and gained a place with West Cumberland Engineering. I wanted an apprenticeship as I still wanted to learn and develop, but I didn’t feel sixth form was right for me.
How have you progressed since first joining the Company?
I didn’t have experience welding when I first joined the company, however now I can TIG weld, MIG weld, read drawings, read weld procedures, use grinders and band saws. I have also passed a lot of my codings.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in the workplace?
Starting work in a male-dominated environment and starting with no experience
What are your ambitions for the future?
I would love to continue welding, but I would definitely be open to progressing to project management. I love being in a workshop and seeing how projects work. I want to be happy whatever I’m doing.
What would you say to girls in school who may be considering engineering as a career choice?
Do it. Don’t let anybody stop you. It’s a great career path to take, and don’t be too scared to consider it, as we currently need more women in engineering.