A day of celebration to inspire girls in careers in engineering

STEM Ambassador Hub East England recently hosted an event to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, with the aim of raising the profile of the sector and encouraging more girls to consider engineering as a career.

Engineering is currently a male-dominated profession, with women making up less than 10% of the sector. To counteract the looming skills gap and need for a more diverse workforce, encouraging girls to choose a career in engineering has become vital to its sustainability.

Taking place annually on 23 June, International Women in Engineering Day celebrates the achievements of women in engineering to inspire future generations of girls in STEM careers.

To promote the awareness day in east England, the local Hub planned an event at the Atrium at Whearstead Park in Ipswich on 21 June, with approximately 200 girls and their teachers in attendance. Exhibitors and speakers at the event included Morrish, EDF, EEEGR, Philips Avent, Bespak, Morgan Sindall, Ransomes Jacobson, Beacon East Aquaterra, Opito ECITB and Delta Simmons.

At the venue, stalls were set up with some great activities for the girls to try out and look around before settling down to listen to the key note speakers. The students were encouraged to discover the world of opportunities that surround the career path of engineering through listening to women who are doing the job.

“Information given throughout the presentation was outstanding and mind blowing! A lady who didn’t work as an engineering job said you don’t need to get your hands dirty or wear overalls to be an engineer because there are more jobs and more roles to play.”  - student

Highlights of the day included a question and answer session with four of the keynote speakers: Julia Walker, Value Stream Manager at Philips Avent; Helen Clements, Morgan Sindall; Kirsten Mills, Geo-environmental Engineer at Delta Simmons and Katie Bannister, Reactor Operator at Sizewell EDF Energy. There were several questions from the girls such as “What do you enjoy about your job?”, “What would you have done if you didn’t become an engineer?” and “How do you deal with the bias with female male ratio?”

The event concluded with Claire Hopkins, Partnership Manager at Connect Education and Business, using some of the quotes from the speakers to encourage the girls to further explore the world of engineering.

Your only limitation is you. If you believe it can happen it just might!”  - Julia Walker, Philips 

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