Inspiring Women to go into manufacturing and engineering

Published: Wednesday 18th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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If you’re female and looking for the next step in your career, an event at the Humber UTC in Scunthorpe this Saturday could be perfect for you.

Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME) is a brilliant initiative set up by Green Port Hull, Siemens, Airco and Jobcentre Plus. Their main aim is to encourage women to choose a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) industries. The business-led consortium works with an array of partners across the region to build awareness of careers and empower women to enter these professions.

On Saturday 21 October, women, girls and their families are all invited to the Humber UTC to find out more about manufacturing, engineering and renewables in the area.

Whilst this sector is going from strength to strength, there is a continuous problem of gender balance that, unfortunately, underscores the industry.

“Only 9% of the UK engineering workforce and 6% of the registered engineers and technicians in this country are female,” says Kirsty Clode, Chair of WiME. “We work with local companies, such as ABP, KCOM and Spencer Group to redress the balance.”

With the support of 21 major employers, eight women have now started new careers through the WiME scheme.

“Lots of local companies would really like more ladies to be part of their firms, so we run two events a year that involve women who are already working in manufacturing and engineering to speak to ladies about what they do and why they love it,” continues Kirsty.

“I think it’s a bit different to a man stood there telling women that she could do a job. It’s more powerful for a woman, who is actively and successfully working in the industry, to speak to these ladies.”

In our region, manufacturing plays a huge role in our economy, providing 17% of our jobs. And with the investment and growth in the renewable energy sector, STEM opportunities are set to skyrocket. Despite this high demand for talent, women remain underrepresented in these roles.

“We find that a lot of the time women don’t even know about the jobs available to them. So of course, they won’t apply for them. Girls can have fabulous careers in engineering but they are not always visible in prospectuses or on photos – it’s usually a guy who is on the promotional image,” Kirsty maintains.

“In the meantime, boys are more likely to be told about opportunities in the STEM industries by their teachers, careers advisors or even families.”

Kirsty explains that by having a room full of women talking about manufacturing and engineering, you can enable ladies of all ages to believe that they can have a successful career in this sector:

“We also make sure parents come along with the girls too, if necessary. Quite often, the industry has changed a lot since they were choosing their own careers and we’ve had girls go home full of enthusiasm about engineering, only to be told by their mums and dads that it ‘isn’t really for them’ or that they ‘need to be physically big and burly’ to carry out these roles. However, this really isn’t the case anymore and that’s what we’re here to say.”

The inspiring event will be held at the Humber UTC in Scunthorpe. Along with over twenty local companies, the National Careers Service will also be on hand to point you in the right direction of qualifications and work experience.

“Come along and give it a go. What have you got to lose? We have ladies and girls of all ages attend – the event is for any woman who is interested in a career in manufacturing and engineering.”

To find out more information, please click here.

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Published: Wednesday 18th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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