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I still get mistaken for security says female engineer Roma Agrawal at MBE ceremony

Roma Agrawal after she received her Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) medal at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Picture by Steve Parsons, Press Association
Ryan Hooper, Press Association

A female structural engineer awarded an MBE for services to the industry said she still gets mistaken for a secretary.

Roma Agrawal (35) told the Duke of Cambridge about the diversity, the lack of opportunities for women and the gender pay gap in the industry when she collected her award from Buckingham Palace on Friday.

The company director, from north-west London, told the Press Association change was needed in the structural engineering industry.

She said: "I don't think anything has ever held me back in my career, but there are definitely some challenges and barriers that still need to be overcome.

"I still get mistaken for the secretary, despite being in the industry for 15 years.

"And not very long ago there were still pictures of naked women in the cabins on construction sites.

"Things like that should not be happening in the 2000s."

Ms Agrawal, who worked on The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during her early career, added: "What I think has changed is that there are large number of companies now who really get diversity.

"We are designing structures for people to live in, but if only one type of person designs them they are not going to be the best product for the population."

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