In support of National Women in Engineering Day on 23 June, which is all about raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering, and encouraging more girls to consider engineering as a career, ICE West Midlands highlighted the roles of female civil engineers working in our region.
Currently women make up less than 10% of the engineering sector, and with a large skills gap looming, and the additional need for a more diverse workforce, it has never been more important to encourage girls to choose a career in engineering.
Two female civil engineers from our region were interviewed on local radio to highlight the careers of women in the industry.
Christina Jackson, former ICE West Midlands Chairman and Amey Director spoke on BBC Radio WM Pete Morgan Breakfast Show and Yvonne Aust, ICE Shropshire Group Chair who has just joined Couch Consulting, was interviewed on the Eric and Clare Breakfast show on BBC Radio Shropshire.
Further activities in the region included an inspirational tour for 25 female pupils from Bartley Green School which took place at Thinktank Museum. There will also be a special feature highlighting female engineers in our region in the weekly edition of the Birmingham Post to be published on 26 June.
Inspiring radio interviews
Christina and Yvonne were asked during their breakfast interviews to describe their careers and give advice to girls wanting to enter the profession.
Click here to hear Christina on BBC WM (06.48)
Click here to hear Yvonne on BBC Radio Shropshire (08.30)
Thinktank inspirational tour
Our regional Education Group invited 25 female students from Bartley Green School, who are currently studying science, technology, engineering and maths, to a special event hosted by Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum.
The girls were given a full tour of the Thinktank galleries and Science Garden and heard inspirational talks by engineers Carole Bayliss from Network Rail Kaylie Donnelly, Committee Member of the British Tunneling Young Members Society, Alison Horton from URS and Sarah Blick from Atkins
ICE says that there is currently a disproportionate balance of males and females in the engineering professions. Female numbers are rising but the reality is that we struggle to attract women into the profession, and to retain them. Some may argue this does not matter, but ICE argues that it erodes our ability to offer imaginative and creative civil engineering solutions to societal needs.
Steve Feeley, ICE West Midlands Regional Director said: “The reality is that we need to attract more females in to the profession. This means ensuring engineering isn’t overlooked by females during the early stages of their lives and encouraging changes in the way we engage with and educate children about career choices.
It’s vitally important that we continue to run events like this right across the West Midlands, to encourage and inspire young people in to this exciting and rewarding profession.”
Nazia Ali, Curator of Science & Industry at Birmingham Museums Trust said: "We are delighted to be hosting the Women in Engineering day at Thinktank. Here at Birmingham Museums, we always strive to get more young people, particularly girls, involved in science, technology, engineering and maths. The Midlands is known as the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, so it is essential that this legacy is inherited by young local women, who may, as a result, go on to great things in the professions of Engineering."
Dave Clayton, Deputy Headteacher of Bartley Green School said:
“Bartley Green School fully supports this excellent event as it helps us to encourage our young people to choose a career because of their passion for it and their ability to excel. These events help open pupils’ eyes and break down traditional gender trends that might otherwise be a barrier as young women map out their futures.”
Birmingham Post Coverage
Read the personal stories of female civil engineers in the 8 page Birmingham Post supplement on the Birmingham Post app