Elohor Hurley-Simister, Undergraduate Civil Engineer, Jacobs
At the age of 17, STEM ambassadors delivered the Engineering Education Scheme at my school and sparked my love of engineering. That summer I joined Jacobs Rail business as a civil engineering apprentice. Over the past 5 years, I have been stretched in a variety of functional and technical roles in different parts of the business, constantly learning while working on results-focused teams. I currently work as an Undergraduate Civil Engineer doing detailed design and BIM on High Speed 2, Europe’s largest multidisciplinary rail infrastructure project.
My career as a young black female Civil Engineer is more thrilling than I could ever have imagined, especially being part of supportive networks like the WISE Campaign. Influential mentors have encouraged me to grow and discover my passion for developing: performance excellence, corporate social responsibility and inclusion and diversity practices.
Our gender, race and other characteristics are protected by UK law because they are integral to who we are. Our difference should be celebrated proudly! Even if you are constantly reminded that “you have to work twice as hard”, you can still bring your whole self to work and be the very best! As a STEM ambassador who is active internally and externally, I show young women and people from a range of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds what a civil engineer looks like and how they can become one. I introduce people to large and small-scale projects, demonstrate the value of developing STEM skills and show them how STEM is used to improve infrastructure, provide innovative and sustainable solutions, and ultimately save people’s lives – in 1st 2nd and 3rd world countries.
I love my profession. It has changed massively in recent years and I look forward to becoming a stronger catalyst for positive change in the years to come.