IOR Member and IOR Women in RACHP network member Jacinta Caden has recently been elected to the influential position of member of the Women in Engineering Society (WES) Council.

WES is active in the promotion of careers in engineering, technical and scientific field and provides a valuable support network for female engineers and scientists as well as promoting diversity in engineering. Jacinta is employed by Integral as a Business Development Manager and began her career in the RACHP industry as an apprentice in Tech Refrigeration in Ireland.   

Being a WES Council member will help Jacinta to carry on the good work she has been involved in for the IOR promoting careers through our Women in RACHP network.   Commenting on this new appointment, Jacinta said “WES is an impressive organisation and reflects on the power of promoting engineering as a career for women which unfortunately is still uncommon. The opportunity to be part of an organisation where I meet inspiring, interesting, enthusiastic and influential women was a good start, not to mention being able to have an input into an organisations success going forward is empowering. I share the same interest on the WES objectives too which makes being part of the council exciting as I have the ability to have a more direct and active role.”

With the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps (RACHP) sector currently suffering a skills shortage, it’s never been more important to appeal to young professionals in underrepresented groups. Organisations such as WES has been fronting several campaigns to address this and the IOR has been taking an active part - for instance, this year the IOR organised a Women in RACHP networking day coinciding with WES’s Women in Engineering Day.   Jacinta is keen to build on this work “The IOR have been proactive by joining and supporting WES and incorporating WiRACHP events etc. Now that there is a more direct link between RAC, IOR and WES I think it is a benefit all round.”

Women currently represent less than 10% of the engineering sector’s workforce in the UK– the smallest percentage in the whole of Europe.    “As an RAC engineer myself” comments Jacinta “I know how rare women with this discipline are. For my term as an apprentice I was the only female doing RAC in Ireland. There were two female predecessors who also qualified years prior to me, one came from an RAC background too. Since then I can still count how many female RAC engineers I am aware of on one hand. Yet in other trades women were not so scarce, when you think about it, it is somewhat disappointing.”

We all wish Jacinta success in raising the profile of RACHP careers.  If you want to get more involved in the WES or IOR Women in RACHP initiatives that Jacinta will be promoting please contact her via . The next Women in RACHP event is being held on 14 March 2018 at Bitzer UK, Milton Keynes.