Opening up engineering to women and girls, as well as encouraging youngsters of both genders to consider engineering careers, Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Gloucestershire’s new STEM Network are joining forces on Friday June 23, for International Women in Engineering Day.
International engineering firm Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc will host events throughout the day at its Runnings Road site in Cheltenham, starting with activities for schools in the morning – three Year 6 classes will be on site to try their hands at building and racing vehicles under the guidance of The BLOODHOUND Project, exploring engineering in one of its many forms.
Over lunchtime, employees and invited guests will be given the chance to discuss the challenges presented by the project’s supersonic car project as it strives both to beat the existing World Land Speed record and also to travel at more than 1,000 mph.
Local engineering businesses and networks will be the focus for the afternoon, with a panel discussion event, keynote speakers including Nicholas Anderson (Chief Executive, Spirax Sarco) and Polly Pick from the University of Gloucestershire, and a chance to meet others with a passion for promoting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The Gloucestershire STEM Network will launch during the afternoon. Supported by the University of Gloucestershire, the launch will offer a real insight into what it means to work in STEM-related industries and highlight some of the inspiring careers can follow from STEM subjects in education.
Jenny Jones, head of employment law at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, who are backing the event, said: “We know that companies which employ a good gender mix are more likely to perform better financially. Given the shortage of engineers in the UK and the lack of female engineers specifically, this celebration of female success in the sector is vital to encourage girls and women to look at these careers. It also gives the sector the chance to demonstrate its openness and to move on from a very narrow image of heavy machinery and oily rags.”
Nicholas Anderson said: “Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc is proud to support the International Women in Engineering initiative. As an equal opportunities employer, we firmly believe that diversity, in all its forms, strengthens and creates vitality within our global business.
“Achieving an even balance between the genders within the engineering sector is a challenge, but we believe that events and schemes which highlight the wide array of career paths available within engineering, promote STEM subjects within schools and universities, or raise awareness of female engineers will, over time, encourage more women to pursue careers in engineering.”