Welcome to the Morson diversity portal where you can find insights on attracting all generations recruitment, tips to be more successful and guides to inclusive leadership. We are committed to changing perceptions within business, championing women in engineering and empowering young talent through mentorship.
We are proud to be members of Stonewalls Diversity Champions programme. Stonewall are Europe's largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) charity. Diversity Champions is the leading employers' programme for ensuring all LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace.
Morson aim to create a workplace where LGBT staff can be themselves, driving performance, engagement and innovation. Through our involvement with Stonewall we aim to collaborate, learn and share cutting edge best practice and initiatives to enhance our ability to recruit diverse talent.
Here at Morson we are committed to improving the diversity of our company and building inclusive cultures every day. Not only is this good for business, it’s also the right thing to do. We aim to be a truly 21st century workforce, where everyone’s talents are welcomed, valued and nurtured.
As part of this we are committing to the Inclusive Culture Pledge, a special initiative by diversity consultancy EW Group. By signing up to EW Group’s Pledge, we will benefit from a year of dedicated support on five key aspects of diversity development: Leadership, People, Brand, Data and Future. Together this will provide a focus for building our skills, awareness, confidence and maturity around workplace diversity over the course of 2018. In doing so, we are making a commitment, internally and outwardly, to the lasting importance of diversity and inclusion to our company culture. For more information visit https://theewgroup.com
Our diversity and inclusion blog delivers the latest thought leadership, videos and content
Following on from our series of thought-provoking roundtable events, which have so far debated HS2’s SEE Outputs and the Year of Engineering, the latest instalment shone a spotlight on gender bias and diversity within the technology industry, including the impact it is having today and what can be done to futureproof the work of UK trailblazers. The discussion panel, brought together in partnership with the University of Salford, comprised of professionals and innovators from the Manchester Airport Group (MAG), BBC, Siemens, Women in the Law UK and Think Money Group. Diversity, equality and inclusion are three codes that the tech industry is yet to crack. Currently, just 17% of tech roles are filled by women, with the sector suffering a lack of representation from hard to reach groups and communities, including different races, sexualities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This imbalance is affecting most UK businesses, with all parties in unanimous agreement that diversity is a present-day issue and that if we don’t make big changes today and work to close the gap, then UK PLC will decline from a dip in productivity, profits and commercial ability. Maria Stukoff, director of the Morson Maker Space at the University of Salford, said: “I cannot believe that in 2018 we are still having to talk about the subject of diversity and inclusion. We can all see the skills gaps and issues within our own organisations and departments but few people are talking about the how and why. “My role is to identify the jobs and careers of the future and how we retrain people to create new things, solve issues and develop new collaborative partnerships. We work closely with the Morson Group to build new talent pipelines and especially in attracting more young women into technical careers.” The event’s first presentation, delivered by MBE Leanne Cooke, CEO and founder of Evolve-IT Consultants, kicked off the debate by examining gender bias and how the root of the problem begins at birth. “Boys are more inclined to be interested in STEM subjects because they tend to grow up with scientific toys, whereas girls are given kitchens and pink things,” explains Leanne. “As soon as they reach primary school, they already have an awareness of gender bias because of the toys they’ve grown up with and these perceptions are rarely challenged by their teachers.” “We need to change the mentality of young people to embrace technical interests and aspirations, which requires more input from teachers. Young people learn about IT and technology in schools but they don’t see what careers are available beyond the games and devices.” The group mutually agreed that teachers do not have enough experience and visibility outside of education as they have always remained in a school environment throughout their training and career. Providing teachers with the tools and insights to become STEM ambassadors and promote the benefits of apprenticeships and on-the-job training is a common theme that has appeared throughout every roundtable table so far, regardless of the topic or sector. Leaving it until secondary school age is often too late, as young people are already heavily influenced by their peers, parents and teachers. “Whilst apprenticeships are great and more must be done to promote the benefits to young people, their parents and businesses, there’s still the immediate problem of the present day skills gap,” continues Leanne. “The only way to solve this is to focus less on experience and look for people with the right transferable skills and a desire to learn. The last two people I’ve recruited got the job based on their attitude and will, and they’ve been the best new recruits that I’ve had in a long time.” Leanne was one of a number of participants to give a present-day example of how they’ve needed to go offshore to find the right skillsets, sourcing talent and support from Eastern Europe and the US, for example. Unconscious bias training was highlighted as one effective solution to improving the pipeline of talent and boosting diversity. This popular approach reduces natural bias and prejudice of people by highlighting individual skillsets and expertise within the candidate recruitment process and removing any identifier of the person’s age, race, sex, location or background. Sam Price, head of client engagement at Morson International, explained: “Anonymising CVs is empowering our clients to build a more diverse workforce by recruiting the right person for the job, regardless of their individual attributes. “A few clients were already implementing unconscious bias programmes but failing in their approach, because they were deemed as short-term solutions. Empowering businesses with the tools to succeed is making waves, especially through the use of diversity data. For example, if we’re sending a diverse shortlist of candidates yet none of these are making the cut, then we can see that there’s clear issues within the hiring manager and change is needed.” Ben Fitzgerald, head of professional services and IT at Morson International, added: “There’s also a big problem in that technology has evolved quicker than commerce and many businesses still expect certain standards. All organisations want superstars and not enough are taking chances on excellent candidates with plenty of ability and will, who can be taught the required technical skills. There are lots of capable and unemployed developers, for example, who are being overlooked by organisations.” This belief was echoed by Chris Joynson, talent & resourcing partner at MAG who explained that certain departments still look for particular candidate backgrounds, for example, finance requires its team to have experience in one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms; something which it is working to address. The Morson Group is committed to pressing for equality, diversity and inclusion within all sectors. We recognise the benefits that a diverse workforce brings for our own business and those of our clients, including innovation, higher commercial earnings and increased productivity. In addition to partnering with the Girls’ Network’s Salford division to encourage young women across Salford to fulfil their aspirations by giving them the tools, connections and confidence to pursue their dreams, Morson International has pledged to double the number of female engineers that are employed by 2020. Attendees were divided in the effectiveness of quotas and whether there is a need to legislate to deliver effective change. There was a feeling that introducing quotas would bring the impression that those from underrepresented groups, in particular females within male-dominated sectors, were only being employed because of their gender and not their skillset and ability. Diane Kennedy, vice president of strategy, architecture and planning at BP and the event’s second speaker, voiced her backing for quotes, explaining that change within large organisations like BP simply wouldn’t happen unless it was a requirement and something that staff were held accountable for. Diane explained: “My quota is to increase diversity within my own team to 25% by 2022. Three years ago, this figure stood at 11% and I’ve worked hard to reach 18% today. There are hundreds of ongoing initiatives within BP to challenge and boost diversity because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Working with schools at primary school through to university age, apprenticeships, return to work programmes and flexible working are some initiatives that have proven really successful. “We also have a top-down policy to drive behavioural change, with inclusion now one of the top five priorities of BP’s chief executive. This shows how important creating an inclusive environment is and even goes as far as saying that the annual bonus you receive will be impacted on how effective the cultural change is within your team and achieving its quotas.” A number of excellent examples that BP use to attract applicants from underrepresented groups included simple and more concise CVs and changing the language used to ensure it is not gender biased. Whilst the oil and gas giant adopts a top-down approach diversity, the room was torn as to whether this cultivates better behavioural change than bottom up. Regardless, everyone was in complete agreement that diversity fosters greater success and profitability and it is an issue that needs addressing today and the right strategies putting into place to overcome both the short and long-term industry needs. Together with sister company The Bridge, Morson International has seen its IT division double year-on-year in the response for top talent. Operating from 50 countries around the globe, it delivers diverse skillsets and candidates, and works in partnership with clients to implement the right techniques and methods to embed diversity within their own culture and bring real change. For more information, contact Sam Price, head of client engagement at Morson International at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have your say in the debate by tweeting us using the hashtag #RecodingDiversity and remember to tag in @MorsonGroup.Find out more
Whilst many people wouldn’t necessarily associate engineering with travel, the world is her oyster for Ana Meek, as a career path in chemical engineering has already enabled her to live and work in five different countries by her early thirties. There are engineering hubs and centres of excellence located around the world and Serbian-born Ana has already worked in Germany, Norway and the UK. Her current role as a chemical process engineer for Morson Projects sees her part of a global team working in partnership to design a new Energy from Waste (EfW) plant in Derby. “I had no idea what I wanted to be growing up in Belgrade, apart from becoming president of course!” explains Ana. “I chose chemical process engineering because there were so many industries and jobs that it could lead me into, such as working in a lab or being a commercial manager or designing plants in different industries. If I didn’t like something then I could just easily switch into another direction, and it was this flexibility that really appealed to me.” Working in engineering has given Ana so many exciting opportunities but globetrotting hasn’t been without its challenges. Ana continues: “I’d moved to Norway with my nine month old baby to start a contract with a new company and the afternoon before I was due to begin, I got a call the client saying that the contract had been put on hold. I was gobsmacked as I’d left a permanent job in Germany and moved to another country for this role. I waited for a while to see if it would start back up again but after a few weeks it wasn’t looking good and I began looking for a new role.” With a strong technical skillset, it wasn’t long before Ana was snapped up by another firm. Initially working in oil & gas in Germany, Ana had moved to Norway to work in the same sector, but the years that followed saw the oil prices crash and the industry go into decline. Ana continues: “No one could have predicted this as oil & gas was such a leading sector. I recognised it was a time to change the sector and moved to renewable energy. Luckily I found the new job and started working on Energy from Waste plants. Unfortunately, the company ceased trading after few years, but Morson Projects, who were our design engineers at the time, needed additional support and offered me the chance to develop my role in the UK.” Fast forward to today and Ana is single-handedly managing multiple global vendors who are working alongside Morson’s design consultancy arm to deliver the new Energy from Waste plant. This complex role involves coordinating the different design packages to make sure everyone is working to the same, evolving specification. A typical day for Ana includes producing engineering documentation and technical specifications, technical bid analysis, liaising with procurement to price up schemes, as well as managing technical issues and finding solutions to ensure everything is aligned and safe. Ana continues: “There’s nothing more satisfying than when you get on site and see the real scale of what you’ve been designing. I’m like a proud parent and the project is my baby. It’s been four years since the initial contract was signed and we’re now just at the commissioning stage and the plant start-up will follow in few months’ time. “This is one of the difficulties in showcasing the appeal of engineering, because a lot of younger people, especially, want to see results straight away. Projects can take years in developing and design and I was actually asked by a primary school pupil why it takes so long when Apple can bring out a new iPhone every year? My answer was that this plant will operate for next 30 years and it is not possible to get the new updated plant next year, which is the case with your iPhone. Projecting a plant is also a much more complicated task as there are more than 40 different packages of equipment involved and a worth of more than £65m – much more expensive than an iPhone. “I also think that the industry needs to be more aligned to creative thinking. I understand the need for tight government regulations around renewables and waste, but there are few opportunities for people to challenge the norms and really innovate within the sector. “Despite this, my advice to anyone who is considering engineering would be to go for it. It was absolutely the best decision I ever made in life and if I could do it all over again, I would choose exactly the same career path.” For more information on Morson's commitment to diversity check out our Diversity Portal. Or to find your next opportunity search jobs.Find out more
Morson caught up with professional boxing star and #TeamMorson ambassador Natasha ‘Miss GB’ Jonas on a rare day off. Tash spoke openly about her career ambitions and her most important and challenging role, being a mum. Only in her early 30’s Natasha has already had an impressive amateur boxing career and an entry in the record books, becoming the first female British boxer to fight in the Olympic Games in 2012. After turning professional she has had massive success, sensationally beating Taoussy L'Hadji earlier this year at the Echo Arena in her hometown of Liverpool. But, in true Tash style, she’s hungry for more. “I’d box anywhere as long as it’s a good place, I wouldn’t mind boxing in Madison Square Gardens! The plan has always been the same as it was when I was an amateur, just to be the best boxer that I possibly can be. I think I’ve proved that I’m world-class level so I want go for the world titles and I want to get them as quickly as I can do.” As part of the BBC Get Inspired programme, Tash, is part of a movement which actively promotes sport and boxing for women. She believes that there has been a shift and less focus is placed on sexualising women in sport, consequently, she enthuses that “it’s a great time for boxing and to be a part of the Matchroom set up to be honest.” As a working mum, Tash has been very open about how sport has helped her confidence and it’s these traits that she is keen to pass down to her daughter. “Like my mum did, I just think I will encourage her to be active because I think that there are lots of other things you can learn from that, other than the skill of boxing or the skill of football. You know, I learnt how to work in a team, I learnt how to communicate, I had confidence and I was physically active.” In a final statement, Tash said: “I want to make a mark and let them know I was there.” Watch the video to see the full interview. To keep up-to-date with the latest sporting news from our #TeamMorson ambassadors, follow our twitter page @MorsonGroup and Instagram @weare_morsonFind out more
The Diversity Hut has become the latest enterprise to receive support from Morson and Vital for the inspirational work that it does and in turn, is using its unique experience and insight to foster a more diverse workforce and culture of inclusivity throughout the Group. Led by founder and social entrepreneur, Usman Shah, Diversity Hut taps into hard to access communities, cultural and religious groups to find talented individuals seeking skilled employment opportunities, and match them with businesses who believe in and value the benefits that a workforce that represents society will bring. So tell us what inspired you to set up the Diversity Hut? I grew up in Newham - one of the most diverse London boroughs but also has the highest unemployment rate - in a typical Asian family who believed that to be successful in life, you had to become a doctor. I did a month of work experience for a construction firm and they were so impressed that I received a full scholarship to study quantity surveying at university - without any backing or support from my family. I then went on to work for Costain, where I won a number of national awards and became amongst the youngest BAME professional in the world to become chartered in quality. Yet working in this industry made me really notice the lack of diversity, which became the driving force behind the Diversity Hut. What makes the Diversity Hut different? There are lots of organisations talking about diversity but I wanted to actually walk the walk, not just talk the talk. My goal is to change people’s perceptions of diversity and enable them to see that being diverse or a minority isn’t a disadvantage, but rather an advantage that provides empowerment and strength. We are also a social enterprise as I didn’t want to profit off of what we did or make ourselves into a charitable cause, as that’s not the intention and brand that I wanted to build. Describe a typical week? As well as the Morson Group, I work with a number of leading engineering and construction companies, including many of Morson’s clients, to train them in the best diversity and inclusion techniques and methods. I’ve so far trained more than 130 people in unconscious bias, cross-cultural management and thought leadership. In addition to improving knowledge and understanding of the value of diversity, we’ve also become a leading broker of skilled, diverse staff for technical sectors. I look for potential employees in places that other businesses do not go, such as churches, mosques, community groups and charities. We’ve created 43 new jobs, and more than half of those were previously unemployed or going into work for the first time. Click here to download your copy of Morson's Safety Matters magazine Summer 2018 to read more about our involvement in the community and much more.Find out more
Last week our Morson rail colleagues had the pleasure of sponsoring and attending the 2018 Big Rail Diversity Games, an event which provides participants with a unique opportunity to network and team build whilst fundraising. The event delivers fun gender-balanced team challenges showcasing women performing in roles that are perceived as ‘non-traditional’ whilst promoting Women in Rail’s key message: Gender Diversity Better for People, Better for Business, Better for Rail Described as a cross between ‘It’s a Knockout’ and ‘Krypton Factor’, the event consisted of a series of fun physical and mental challenges – undertaken by teams with a gender balance of 50% female and 50% male. Morson was proud to be the key sponsors and entered an intrepid team of 8 who joined hundreds of others in giant inflatable challenges. We caught up with one part of Team Morson, Peter Jackson, Morson’s Client Development Manager for Rail: “The guys today have been involved in a quite diverse array of activities, hovercraft, inflatable obstacle courses and challenges, climbing walls, bouncy castle volleyball, a zumber competition and archery.” “We’ve had a great day, and it was a great opportunity for the team to bond. People from various areas of our company, across the country, have had the opportunity to get together and it’s gone really well.” “We‘ve got quite a diverse team representing Morson here today and it’s very important for them to be able to engage with the rest of the rail industry, to speak to people from across the industry, from varying disciplines and different companies to learn more about the diversity that exists within rail.” Speaking about Morson’s commitment to gender diversity: “One of the big things that our CEO has pledged to the industry and to the wider Women in Engineering piece is to double the number of engineering contractors that are women. This shows where we are as an industry and how far we’ve come.” Watch the video to see highlights of the event. To find out more about our Women in Engineering pledge, click here.Find out more
Our new starter and Client Engagement Co-ordinator, Anisah K discusses diversity and inclusion in Higher Education... As an ethnic minority, I have always been inquisitive about the need for Equality and Diversity Monitoring. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had to fill in extra forms when completing questionnaires, applying for jobs, enrolling in academic institutions and even when receiving treatment on the NHS. It’s always brought to mind a plethora of questions. How will they be used? Who will see the answers? Will my answers be used against me? Why does it need to be monitored in the first place? Surely, we’re all humans and should be treated individually as such?. I told you I wasn’t joking when I said I have a lot of questions! Being the inquisitorial soul that I am, I set out to find some answers. I knew if I straight up asked someone those questions, they’d probably get sick of me. So, in a softer approach, I asked my university’s Inclusion and Diversity team if I could spend a week with them. Here’s what it taught me. E&D doesn’t just take place when filling out forms. I sat in on a meeting in regards to Professorial Promotion Workshops designed to ensure equality for staff, particularly staff with protected characteristics, wanting to pursue promotions. It quickly became apparent that my experience of E&D was limited to my own experiences and I could not fathom some of the protected characteristics that weren’t directly relevant to me such as gender reassignment and disability. I was also involved in seeing how Equality Impact Assessments are used to ensure that changes in policy or projects carried out by the university do not discriminate against protected groups. I learned the difference between positive action and positive discrimination. An example of positive action would be where ‘excellent’ BAME candidates are interviewed before excellent White candidates. Whereas, positive discrimination would occur when a ‘good’ BAME candidate is interviewed before an ‘excellent’ White candidate. Being a millennial, it was no surprise to learn that there was a high turnover for staff aged 35 and under. I was tasked with reviewing millennial drivers – things that millennials want from their jobs and how to incorporate this into practice. But the bigger picture involves understanding why under 35’s resign from their jobs and whether the job description and person specification contain any inclusive language which promotes millennial drivers or information which may hinder the retention of these staff. Other actions for the university to take involve reviewing how to improve the recruitment process, conducting and reviewing leaving interviews and surveys, and considering other programmes such as apprenticeships and internships. Taking the focus away from recruitment, the university launched ‘Salford Inclusion & Diversity Week’ with the theme of culture and faith differences. A multitude of events and initiatives were held including Diversity Downloads, a BAME Graduate Employment Roundtable I got involved with, where students were able to meet with employers across the North West to discuss barriers into employment that BAME graduates may face. There were also tours of the faith centre held by the Chaplaincy team, the launch of gender-neutral toilets in the ‘Just a Toilet’ campaign. The week closed with the Role Models session led by the university’s Chancellor, Jackie Kay, in which students, staff, and alumni gave talks on their personal experiences of culture and faith differences. The week gave me a chance to inquire about the ‘BME Attainment Gap’. I had actually never heard of it until a few months ago. From a personal cultural perspective, I knew of more British Asians that decided to attend university than their white counterparts. But then it dawned upon me – as a student rep, I’d often have more negative feedback from BAME students about their experiences of university and complaints in regards of their assignment feedback or grades. The work experience week taught me about the procedures in place to ensure fair marking and moderation of assessments. The roundtable I attended in November as part of Salford Inclusion and Diversity Week taught me the ways to overcome barriers I may face as a BAME individual. Furthermore, in 2016, the university was successfully awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award as recognition for its commitment to gender equality. The university continues to work towards the Silver Institutional Awards which has enabled some key achievements. Achievements include the launch of Women’s Voice and the launch of self-assessment teams within each school and Professional Services to review diversity-related data and tackle the barriers to female career progression in a proactive manner. Additionally, there has been greater emphasis on the I&D team and their new addition, a Graduate Intern, in the support of the institution-wide delivery of the I&D Strategy. My experience as a whole has helped to broaden my experiences and understanding by being involved with different aspects of I&D. I have witnessed first-hand the work that goes on behind the scenes at the university, and the impact it will have. While my time here as a student comes to an end, it will be interesting seeing the changes as the university transforms into a more inclusive institution, benefitting the students and staff, both present and future. To read more about diversity and inclusion at Morson, click here.Find out more
Morson was proud to attend the Greater Manchester is Working Forward event on Friday which highlighted the importance of diversity in the workplace with a particular focus on gender equality and working parents. TV presenter Helen Skelton, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and a number of business leaders came together to celebrate Greater Manchester’s commitment to ending pregnancy, maternity and paternity discrimination. Working Forward is a nationwide campaign which is backed by a number of the UK’s leading businesses to make the workplace the best it can be for pregnant women and new parents. Along with some of the biggest names in business, Morson is delighted to pledge its commitment to ending pregnancy, paternity and maternity discrimination in the workplace by signing the Working Forward business pledge and are now part of the growing community. Attendees discussed how businesses manage pregnancy, maternity, paternity and flexible working along with some of the challenges employers encounter and how to combat these challenges. Morson’s Talent Acquisition Partner, Kirsty Wilson signed the pledge on behalf of Morson Group and said: “The Working Forward seminar was a fantastic event with powerful and inspiring stories shared throughout the morning. By pledging our support to Working Forward we commit to making Morson supportive for pregnant women and new parents. We hope we can lead in this best practice and work to end maternity and paternity discrimination, not only within our business but within the industries we work.” Special guests, Jodi Birkett, Partner at Deloitte UK, Chithra Marsh, Associate Director at Buttress Architect, Louis Georgiou, MD of Code Computer Love and Lynne Fish, Senior HR Manager at Suez sat on the panel and questions were posed to a panel of experts ranging from Authors to Employment Solicitors. To read more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion, click here.Find out more
Morson Vital Training was delighted to host the Girls Network, for the #careersontrack event this week where students from St Ambrose School visited our rail training facility in Salford. The year 10 and 12 pupils from St Ambrose spent an afternoon at Morson Vital Training, gaining practical experience of rail safety and skills and exploring opportunities in engineering. The girls stepped inside the Morson/Vital safety unit and receive a safety briefing where various types of equipment and safety innovations were demonstrated. They then followed Training Support Manager, Andy Robinson, out onto the Vital training track in full PPE where they were briefed about the job roles and responsibilities that come working within the rail industry. Andrew Robinson, Vital’s Training Support Manager was extremely pleased with the level of engagement he felt from the group: “Hopefully we have achieved our goal of sparking some engineering interest in a new generation of young people.” A presentation about what a career on track involves and an interactive Q&A was delivered by our Head of Vital Training, Matt Leavis and HR Business Partner, Lorraine Reece. The ‘Careers on Track’ event was a great opportunity for the girls to understand and learn more about the career paths which are available to them in engineering sectors, specifically rail. Positively some of the girls came away from the event considering apprenticeships in the engineering world. For many, the event ‘opened their eyes’ to engineering and for one pupil the event has spurred her on to realising her dream to become a construction engineer and encourage more women into the profession. To search for your opportunity in Rail, click here. Or to find out more about Morson Vital Training and apprenticeships, visit our website.Find out more
Andy Reid's Resettlement Plan | Morson are thrilled to launch our recruitment resettlement guide on the centenary of the RAF. Written in partnership with veteran and Morson Forces Ambassador Andy Reid, the guide aims to aid ex-forces members transition to civilian employment. Including features such as 'Preparing to Leave the Armed Forces - Andy's Ten Step Guide' plus CV and interview tips and more light hearted content such as the 'Armed Forces to Civvy Jargon Buster' the plan aims to be informative and relatable. Click here to get your copy of Andy Reid's Resettlement Plan Speaking about the project Andy reiterated how passionate he is about using his personal experiences to support veterans once they leave the armed forces - As a veteran of The 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment and Morson Forces Ambassador, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to transition from the armed forces into a normal, civilian life. Ex-forces personnel have a lot to offer in the civilian world, often in ways they won’t immediately realise. It is my aim to bridge the gap between these two worlds so veterans are ready to become skilled, sought-after candidates ready to transition into work. One of the main things I noticed when appearing at career transition events as a Morson forces ambassador is the language barrier between ex-forces personnel and the recruiters who are looking to help them. This guide is designed to offer some help to veterans as they look to take their first steps in the civilian world. In particular, I’ll walk you through some of my top tips for preparing to leave the armed forces. I attend careers events with Morson across the country, so come along and we’ll help you take those first steps into your new life. Click here to get your copy of Andy's Resettlement Plan. Get #MoreFromMorson and search our latest jobs or to find out more about how Morson can support ex-forces personnel, visit our Morson Forces page.Find out more
Thales’ project with Oman Air is drawing to a successful close thanks to skilled senior systems project engineer, Estel Dandridge. Estel has led a global team developing a new signature GUI, branded ‘OMAN Aria’, for the airline’s HOV 3-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners; with the same integrated in-flight entertainment system also destined for its B737 MAX, B737 NG, A330 and 2C 787 aircrafts before the end of 2018. “As we speak, the cutting edge 787-9 is on its test flight with a team of Thales engineers observing the new technology in action,” explains Estel. “We’re working to avoid a dark flight, which in industry terms means a technology failure. But we’ve completed enough testing and perfecting to be sure that this won’t happen.” As the project’s solution engineering manager (SEM), Estel managed a team of Thales software engineers, programme managers, media managers and more based in Irvine, CA and Bordeaux, France, to ensure Aria’s delivery aligned with Omar Air’s 2030 vision of delivering the latest technology and ultimately providing customers with the best experience as soon as they step on board. Excelling in Maths and Science, Estel took a chance on a College subject that would provide the best future prospects. “Growing up, it was always drilled into us that technology was the future,” continues Estel. “When it came to my College application, I looked down the list of degrees and thought, right, what’s going to get me a job at the end? I knew that software skills were in high demand and chose Computer Science without any fear of failure or thinking that a woman couldn’t do it. “Too many degrees leave it very vague in what job you’ll get at the end of it, and whilst people have different reasons for going to College, for me it was about making sure I got a good job. My advice to anyone is to work hard and focus. Don’t not pick something because you’re afraid that you’ll fail; it’s all about being determined and working hard. “Being the only female in my classes at Cal State LA was intimidating at the beginning as you long for a sense of belonging, but knowing that I was getting As and Bs in a subject that was so challenging and that people were dropping out because it was so hard, gave me a real drive to succeed.” It’s this same drive that continues to push Estel to learn new things, evolve and develop. During her 9+ years with global technology giant, IBM, she describes how she successfully transitioned from someone behind a computer to a project leader. Estel continues: “Those sat behind a computer coding have a certain personality and progressing to a project leadership role meant I really had to grow and develop. These weren’t skills that you learn at school and I’m really proud of myself for developing into a leader and passing my project management professional (PMP) certificate. “A lot of the engineers here at Thales have mechanical and electrical backgrounds, yet I’m quite unique in that I was purely software. Whilst it wasn’t software that was being put on an aircraft, the principles are still the same. “I’ve been with the company for three years now and every project I’ve worked on has been bigger than the last as my industry experience grows. I see a long future with Thales and the nature of what we do means that you always have the chance to reinvent yourself and you are never done learning.” Morson International are the UK's No.1 Aerospace Recruiter, with hundreds of jobs in aviation click here to find your next opportunity.Find out more
Ivy Man is part of a team of highly skilled software engineers dedicated to revolutionizing the flying experience of Emirates’ customers as part of a four-year development programme with the aviation giant. Based out of Thales US’ Irvine, CA base, the Emirates Project Design Authority is spearheading the Engineering team working on the Boeing 777X aircraft; one of the largest projects that it has ever worked on. Ivy explains: “I can’t really say too much about the project due to confidentiality reasons, but what I will say is that the work we’re doing will transform the passenger experience of flying with Emirates; not just inflight but every touchpoint that the customer has before they even climb on board to after they’ve landed.” As design authority for the programme, its Ivy’s responsibility to define the scope and definition for the deliverables and different solutions, interface with engineers and programmers on the technical teams as well as manage budgets, resource planning, scheduling and more. “We’re approaching a critical stage of development so I’m frequently on conference calls and in meetings liaising with key stakeholders around the globe to ensure we’re all working collaboratively towards common goals, activities and deadlines,” continues Ivy. “There isn’t room for a traditional working day on this project as the 11-hour time difference with Emirates’ Dubai HQ can see me on calls from 7 am through to 9 pm.” Having moved to the US from Hong Kong aged 18, Ivy studied Mathematics at Boise State University, ID, before completing her Masters in Computer Science at the University of Colorado. Ivy continues: “Looking back, it really was my dad who has really inspired me to reach where I am today. Our family was never rich but he worked hard so I could come to the US for my education, and a lot of the traits and attributes that I have today, I value to him and his guidance.” Having first worked as a software engineer throughout various roles, Ivy joined Thales in 2005 as a Principal Software Engineer. Her 13-year career with the company has seen her take on various roles and progress throughout the business to her current position as Project Design Authority. Ivy added: “When I first joined Thales I was working in a very small defined area of software. As my knowledge and experience has grown, I’ve gained more of an understanding of the larger components to see how everything fits together and take on more responsibility as a bigger picture thinker." “This project is one of the most challenging that we’ve ever worked on here at Thales and it’s great that my 13-year career has led me to here. I love the complexity of the programme; I’m not only exposed to new areas and opportunities to learn but the demands pushes us to the next level to test and implement new technology and features that have never done before." “Every decision that I’ve made has led me to where I am today. You never know what new things you and your team are going to create and develop to make tasks better and I love this variety and the unknown of what the future holds.” Morson International is the UK's No.1 Aerospace Recruiter, with hundreds of jobs in aviation click here to find your next opportunity.Find out more
Following last year’s pledge from Morson International to double the number of female engineering contractors that it employs by 2020, the top technical recruiter is on track to surpass its target. Current workforce ratios show that 13.8 per cent of all Morson’s engineering contractors are now female compared to 7.5 per cent this time last year; indicating that its commitment to creating a more diverse talent pool is paying dividends. With a number of major infrastructure projects now on site and progressing towards their peak, including HS2 and Hinkley Point C, the demand for engineers continues to outstrip supply. According to the Women’s Engineering Society, the UK needs to significantly increase the number of people with engineering skills, with estimates suggesting that we need to at least double the number who are already studying engineering-related subjects. Adrian Adair, operations director at Morson International, comments: “It’s inspiring to see significant progress made already. It’s crucial that we source the highly skilled workforce that the engineering sector needs, but it’s clear that as an industry, we need more diversity. By inspiring underrepresented groups, particularly women, as well as promoting opportunities that resonate with different races, ages, backgrounds, geographic locations and more, we hope to create a healthy talent pool for future engineering projects and one which is more diverse and more inclusive.” Morson recently held a #CareersOnTrack event, aimed at addressing the skills shortage and lack of diversity in the rail industry. The event saw girls aged 14-17 visit Morson Vital Training’s education hub in Salford, giving them the opportunity to step foot on its replica track and learn more about the rail industry and its various careers. As part of Morson’s pledge to ensure the modern workforce is more gender diverse by 2020, the recruiter is also supporting career switching by helping candidates outside of engineering recognise the transferable skills that they already possess for a successful career in the sector. Adrian continues: “Leveraging transferable skills opens up new opportunities across a choice of industries and locations, as well as presenting possible progression paths by capitalising on skills in high demand." “There are a number of similar stand out initiatives that are working to stamp out the stereotypes in engineering and wider STEM subjects, such as the IET’s #SmashStereotypesToBits, and it’s this collective drive and focus from throughout the industry that will encourage more diverse recruitment.” For more information on Morson’s Women in Engineering campaign, visit http://project.morson.com/women-in-engineering. Join the conversation using the hashtag #MorsonWiEFind out more