Q&A: Steven Garfoot

  1. Name? Steven Garfoot
  2. What is your current role and what does it involve? Senior design engineer overseeing the technical team at JD Cooling, providing detailed technical design and drawings for system installation.
  3. Why do you think our industry is usually male orientated? A combination of issues. Firstly, there is a significant lack of young people entering engineering in general, heightened by the fact that engineering courses are badly publicised and as a result the industry fails to attract new recruits of all genders. This has led to maintaining the male dominant portrayal of the industry, which may further deter some women from looking into it from the start.
    Secondly, studies show that in other countries that are close to true equality of opportunity see a natural inequality in the workplace, which is a result of personal choice rather than any specific issue within those industries, despite the fact that those who do choose to enter engineering often go on to become extremely successful. However, it does also have to be acknowledged that some companies are generally run by an aging generation who may still have an outdated bias against women.
  4. What different qualities do you think the females at JD Group offer as opposed to their male counterparts? This begs the question as it assumes men and women are different. Personally, I feel that you cannot differentiate certain qualities between groups as this would be a hasty generalisation. Qualities can differ from man-to-man, woman-to woman, as well as man-to-woman. When looking at grouping qualities by gender it has to be acknowledged that in reality there is no fixed line and that a majority of qualities found in men are also found in women and vice-versa. The attempt to highlight difference between groups leads to the creation of stereotypes and introduces the concept to people’s minds that it is acceptable to view the two groups as different, despite them both deserving equality of opportunity.
  5. Which woman in history (past and present) inspires you the most? Pippa Mann (British Indy 500 Driver), Amelia Earhart (Aviation Pioneer), Lise Meitner (Nuclear Physicist)
  6. What do you think JD Cooling Group could do to improve equality here? Assuming we’re talking about equality of opportunity, it is important to continually ensure that all employees are being treated fairly and that there is no culture of casual sexism.
  7. What is the one thing you could do personally to have a positive impact on gender equality? (#EachforEqual) Continue to treat everyone in a fair and reasonable manner and promote a positive working environment for all.