Rachel Skinner, the Past President of WTS London, has been named as one of the top 50 Women in Engineering in a list published by the Daily Telegraph on National Women in Engineering Day.
Rachel, who was chosen as one of the UK's most influential female engineers from almost 900 nominations is a Director within the Development business of WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff.
She has been with incarnations of the same company since joining the industry in 1998 and has been promoted through the business to lead its UK transportation planning group, before moving into a corporate leadership role to run the firm’s European marketing and communications activities. This has given her an unusual mix of skills and led her to her current role, which combines senior project leadership with profile-raising, market intelligence and strategy.
Rachel admits that she joined the engineering industry 'by accident'. She says, “With a first class Geography degree in hand, I joined the industry with a vague idea that I might work for a few months before going travelling.”
Eighteen very successful years later, Rachel's experience of the industry is one where the opportunities always flow for people with the right skills and attitude. She says “I spend a lot of time trying to work out how we can raise the profile of transport and engineering, so we can pull people towards us more easily and promote the tremendous range of interesting, intelligent and meaningful careers on offer. This is our biggest challenge – and our biggest opportunity.”
As Mum to three children,Rachel is immensely proud that she has managed to maintain a meaningful career path while raising a young family. "Lots of people call it a work/life balance but for me it is all just “life”. It isn’t easy but it is incredibly rewarding."
Commenting on the list, Dawn Bonfield, Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society said: ‘We had a very high response to this campaign and were hugely impressed with the entries. This list of amazing role models is a great way of raising the profile of our talented women engineers and making them more visible both within the industry and to the next generation.”
Judge Allan Cook CBE, Chairman of Atkins commented, “I was really impressed with the calibre, quality and quantity of the submissions. Reading through the entries, it was incredibly exciting to see the breadth of talent we have in our engineering community.”
Rachel is a founder member of WTS London and has had a board role since it was established in 2004 and was its elected President for four years.
To see the Daily Telegraph's full list of the 50 most influential engineers, click here.