Meshi Taka, principal engineer of Stockton on Tees and Newcastle-based AECOM, has been announced as one of the top 100 most influential women in engineering.
She's been named on a list produced by the FT and recruitment agency Inclusive Boards, alongside other ICE members including Fritha McCrimmon, who sits on the ICE North East Education Panel, ICE Vice President Rachel Skinner, ICE South West Board Chair Katy Toms, and Chartered civil engineer Sakthy Selvakumaran.
Meshi Taka said: “Having more diverse and inclusive workplaces is vital to dealing with predicted future skill shortages in the engineering industry.
“As an engineer and ambassador, I am helping the change the narrative of what engineering means today, helping to break down stereotypes which can prevent the inflow of diverse skills into the industry."
Following in the footsteps of Dorothy Buchanan
“I'm inspired by Dorothy Buchanan, the first female member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), who said, ‘I felt that I represented all the women in the world. It was my hope that I would be followed by many others," Taka said.
"I hope, just like Dorothy, to be followed by many others.”
Taka graduated from the University of Bradford with a BEng (Hons) in civil and structural engineering. Fifteen years later, she's now a Chartered civil engineer and member of ICE. She's also the Fairness, Inclusion and Respect lead on the ICE North East Regional Committee.
In 2018, Taka was named Best Woman Civil Engineer of the Year finalist at the European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards.
Taka is also a speaker and ambassador committed to supporting women in engineering and girls in STEM, working alongside engineering organisations such as ICE and Women’s Engineering Society (WES).
She's been working closely with schools in the region, engaging with and empowering girls. She uses her personal journey to show them that they, too, can be part of the industry.
The list of influential female engineers will be officially released at the Inclusive Boards: Women in Engineering Leadership conference on 22 October 2019.
Elizabeth Oni-Iyiola, development director of Inclusive Boards, said: “Engineers have an impact on almost every area of our day-to-day lives.
"Meshi and those featured today are role models who inspire those around them and demonstrate leadership and influence in the work that they do.”
Penny Marshall, the ICE’s regional director for the North East, said: “Meshi is a first-rate engineer whose position on this list is much deserved. It is incumbent upon all of us women in the engineering profession do all we can to inspire and support the next, and growing generation of influential female engineers.”