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Inspiring Women in Engineering

Inspiring Women in Engineering: Rachel

Inspirational women working to clean up the River Thames have shared stories of people who shaped them to celebrate this year’s Women in Engineering Day.

Tideway is building a super sewer deep beneath London to stop millions of tonnes of raw sewage spilling into its river every year.

And to inspire the next generation, especially young women, into this fantastic industry, we’ve animated the stories behind those working on the project.

The theme for this year’s Women in Engineering Day is ‘Shape the World’, and Tideway’s new animated series showcase the people that shaped some of the women working on the project.

Julie Thornton, Tideway’s Director of HR, said: “Construction has historically been an industry in which men outnumber women – but we’re looking to address this imbalance.

“A key part of that involves inspiring the next generation of young women into construction, and what better way than to have the amazing women working on the project to share their stories.”

Tideway is committed to reducing the gender gap in construction and has implemented a number of schemes and initiatives to support this – including inclusive recruitment, activities lead by our employee diversity networks and the promotion of flexible working.

The project was also the first in the industry to introduce an internship programme for career-break returners, which is the subject of Rachel Tomkins’s animation.

Sir Peter Bazalgette, whose great-grandfather Sir Joseph Bazalgette designed the sewer system Tideway is currently expanding, said: “What has come across to me very strongly since the project’s inception is the impact the female engineers are having.

“We know there has been a huge struggle over the last couple of decades to have more women studying engineering because it has traditionally been such a male-dominated profession, but I can see that changing, and projects like Tideway are playing a big role.

“Diversity is important to everything we do as a society. Everyone should play a part in developing policies, plans and ideas – everyone should be involved in executing them, and everyone should benefit. It looks to me that the Tideway project has thought carefully about this sort of approach from day one.”

To see the animated series, visit 

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