This Saturday is International Women in Engineering Day (INWED). We are pleased to once again be a corporate supporter as we believe encouraging girls and young women into rewarding engineering careers is vital.
Currently only 11% of engineers in the UK are female. With a recognised skills gap in engineering worldwide, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to help inspire and encourage more women to choose a career in this field.
Launched in 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), this international awareness day celebrates the achievements of women in engineering and aims to open young women’s eyes to the exciting opportunities that exist in a career in engineering. The theme for INWED 2018 is Raising the Bar, working towards improving diversity in engineering and promoting inspirational female role models.
Dr Sam Healy, our Group Director Corporate Responsibility (and winner of the 2017 Women in Defence 'Special Award' for her work with The 5% Club), said:
“Industry is tapping into only a fraction of the potential talent of our young people and girls are missing out on amazing careers. As girls are making choices about their future, it’s so important that they meet female role models. There is something very powerful about meeting someone ‘that could be me.’ "
In support, this week our STEM Ambassadors are hosting and participating in a number of events to inspire young women in support of INWED:
- At our Farnborough site, we're welcoming 100 girls from eight Surrey and Hampshire primary and secondary schools. They will meet with our engineers, including female role models, and learn about real world applications in acoustics, lasers, simulation, virtual reality and electron propulsion in our ion engines, used for long distance space travel.
- Jointly with Malvern Panalytical, a local business, 15 girls from five Worcestershire schools will visit Malvern Panalytical’s new offices to take a tour of the new building, meeting female engineers to find out about is life is like as an engineer.
- We are also supporting an Aim High event run by Boeing at Cranfield University for 80 Bedfordshire school girls, who will participate in hands-on experiments and ask questions of leading female engineers from Boeing and other companies about their work and their career paths.
Our support for INWED demonstrates our passion for and participation in the Year of Engineering, a year-long government-led campaign encouraging industry partners to tackle the engineering skills gap and widen the pool of young people who join the profession.
Youth unemployment and skills shortages, particularly science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are problems not just for the defence and security industry, but for many industries worldwide. Through our participation in events like INWED and Year of Engineering, as members of The 5% Club, and through activities supported by our volunteering programme (enabling our people to use their professional skills to make a positive difference in our local communities), we help to inspire and encourage more people to consider STEM.
To participate in the INWED 2018 campaign, share your stories on social media using the hashtag #INWED18 and tagging @INWED1919
For more information visit the INWED campaign website.