In contrast, there were few programmes to encourage females into engineering when Eleanor began her career in 1981.
“When I first joined engineering I was the only female mechanical apprentice,” she says.
“Going into engineering was quite daunting, I had come from an all girls’ school. There was no engineering at school, it was just needlework and cookery, but I really enjoyed pulling motorbikes, car engines and bicycles to bits from about 15. I really felt like I wanted to go into something like that.
“Walking into an apprenticeship where there were 96 males and one other female was quite daunting. When I started university seven years later there was only two other girls and they both dropped out.”
This is worlds apart from Georgina, whose course was around 20 per cent female, also with female lecturers - something which was unheard of when her mum was studying.
“They were great role models for us and it didn’t feel like being a disadvantage being a female,” says Georgina.
Despite both being in the minority in the early part of their careers, Eleanor and Georgina both feel it was a definite advantage.
“It made me grow in confidence because I had no choice but to do so,” says Eleanor.
“It’s possibly a little bit make or break,” says Georgina.
“But if you can make it in that first year you might be in the minority but you have grown so much. I think that’s beneficial because when we go into work we’ve already dealt with being a bit of a fish out of water.”