Hilary Buxton (CEng, MIGEM, MIMechE) Head of Engineering. Cadent
Being a woman never proved to be a career obstacle for Hilary Buxton - Cadent’s most senior female engineer.
What was your career path?
In the 1980's I found myself blazing a trail for women engineers. After gaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I joined British Gas’ graduate programme.
During my 30 years in the gas industry, I’ve taken on a wide and varied range of roles; from planning and constructing new pipelines and above ground installations to demolishing disused gas holders, through to leading business improvement programmes.
What does your current role involve?
As Head of Engineering, I’ve had the weighty responsibility of ensuring all the company’s engineering policies and procedures comply with safety and legal requirements and that the company’s competence framework ensure staff have the right skills.
“Because female engineers were something of a novelty- I felt that my co-workers had higher expectations of me than of my male equivalents. However, once I’d satisfied them that I knew what I was doing, I was treated like everyone else."
What changes have you seen within your sector?
Nowadays, female engineers in Cadent are treated the same as their male peers from the outset. I am proud, though, to be Cadent’s most senior female engineer! As a company we are increasing our focus on developing our engineering workforce. I do a lot of work mentoring young engineers, male and female, and it is immensely rewarding.
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