An Interview with Janine Rudenko, Operations Director at Tenet Consultants

Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day

As part of our celebrations for International Women in Engineering Day on June 23rd, we are showcasing the inspiring stories of female leaders in the engineering and nuclear industries, based right here at Birchwood Park.

We recently spoke with Janine Rudenko, Operations Director at Tenet Consultants, a key player in the nuclear sector. Janine shares her journey, the challenges she has faced along the way, and her vision for the future of women in engineering.

Q: Can you tell us about your background and what initially sparked your interest in nuclear or engineering?

Janine: I initially started working for the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) in Knutsford in the accounts department. While there, I moved to become part of the engineering support team, and it just so happened to be Sizewell B power station we were working on, one of the UK’s newest nuclear power stations. So nuclear was not a specific choice, but one I don’t regret for the opportunities it opened up.

Q: What led you to specialise in your industry, and what has your career path looked like since you started work here at Birchwood Park?

Janine Rudenko: An opportunity came along to support the THORP project for Sellafield (BNFL) and with the location and the opportunity to earn more, it was an easy decision to make. Following a move to Team leader then into the IT department, I started working for Tenet Consultants in June 2005, initially in engineering support/CAD. Over the years I’ve progressed to Office and Project Manager, Operations Manager, and in the last year, as the company has expanded and grown, I became Operations Director.

Q: Can you tell us about a project you’re proud of, and any impact it had in the wider industry?

Janine Rudenko: I am proud of instigating and mobilising the degree apprenticeship scheme we have at Tenet Consultants. We have a long-standing relationship with Sellafield and this has helped ensure our apprentices are following a similar apprenticeship pathway. Under the guidance of the Tenet team, they will gain the knowledge and experience required to support all our nuclear clients as Tenet engineers. This year we will welcome our 14th apprentice.

Q: What challenges do women face in this industry?

Janine Rudenko: I was born in an era where women were generally advised to become a secretary or work in finance. Thankfully, this has changed, but there is still work to be done to encourage women into the industry. One of the main challenges is actually understanding what a career in the industry means. I believe to attract women into the industry, there must be more publicity in schools and colleges to showcase and promote the opportunities and skills needed.

Q: How can the industry overcome these challenges?

Janine Rudenko: Addressing the resource gap in the nuclear sector means prioritising Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.

There are more and more diverse opportunities than just engineering, after all I wasn’t an engineer when I started. Tenet participates in many events at schools and colleges, as starting awareness at the school level – even primary school where possible – is going to be key to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion is a priority in our industry

Q: What do you think are the most critical skills or attributes for success in this industry?

Janine Rudenko: It is recognised that having a more diverse workforce with different interests, skill sets, and methods for addressing problems is the path to successfully delivering the work required for this industry. On a personal level, all skills will be critical, but being an engineer is not the only option for being successful in this industry. Project Management and Operations are alternate career paths. For my role in Operations, the main skills and attributes required are of course organisational skills, as well as conflict resolution, leadership, and decision-making ability, which are all utilised to drive the strategies for efficiencies, resourcing, and quality for the business.

Q: What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the nuclear and engineering industry?

Janine Rudenko: Just go for it! Now is the time to start in the industry with many exciting new projects, plus there is more support than ever for career progression and guidance. Look at apprenticeship schemes – they are open to any age group now, so if you fancy a change of career, now is definitely the time to do it!

Q: How do you see the nuclear industry evolving over the next decade, and what role do you envision women playing in this future, particularly here at Birchwood Park?

Janine Rudenko: There needs to be more reflection of society as a whole, with a target to increase the number of women in the nuclear industry to 40%. Birchwood Park is home to a large number of blue-chip companies and SMEs who are all pushing towards this goal, so here is the place to enter the industry and find a rewarding role in engineering and nuclear.

Q: How does being on Birchwood Park support its occupiers and professionals joining the industry?

Janine Rudenko: Birchwood Park is the location of some of our key clients and is one of the main reasons Tenet located here in 2005. Our employees enjoy working on the park for the convenience, accessibility, and also the incredible facilities here. There are regular informative events held at the EngineRooms, attended by many organisations from the nuclear industry including fellow occupiers.

A big thank you to Birchwood Park for your support over the last 19 years, and we will definitely be celebrating our twentieth year with you in 2025.

Janine’s journey and insights underscore the incredible opportunities and supportive community at Birchwood Park. As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, we hope her story inspires more women to explore and excel in the engineering and nuclear industries.


Current Occupiers