Be Creative in an Industry of Possibilities!
Oily hands, filthy rags and a dirty job is what is perceived from working in the engineering field. Although it is true in some job roles, a job in engineering is not as dirty, or ‘just for boys’ as you first think.
Have a look around you, what objects can you see that have been engineered? How are you reading this? A computer, or the latest phone?
Widen the possibilities of what engineering actually does for us and let your imagination be creative in an industry of possibilities.
What is Engineering or Advanced Manufacturing?
Engineering is not as complicated and complex as you first assume, and now Advanced Manufacturing is changing for the better!
But what exactly is Advanced Manufacturing? Well, the use of cutting edge material make it more exciting than it ever has been before. Whether it involves computer software to complete 3D printing, or a family of activities that need the use of direction information to be successful.
The use of robotics will replace the long, repetitive processes to make way for more exciting and fulfilling job roles, which is a bonus for anyone interested in a career in engineering. The oil-covered dirty work stereotypes are changing perceptions of the area and meaning more and more girls are choosing to stay away.
Why is there a shortage of girls in this industry?
Engineering has always been exposed as a largely male career option and in schools the classrooms are dominated by boys. This itself can be seen as a reason why girls could feel intimidated to enter an engineering classroom. The divide has caused only 9% of the engineering workforce to be women. Diversity matters, and companies are 15% more likely to increase performance is there is a mixed gender workforce.
Stereotypes such as dirty work, working with cars and generally a non-female job role are making it more difficult to increase the amount of girls. However, it’s now time to change and drive out these stereotypes.
Understandably, changing perceptions on engineering is not going to be easy, but sharing what career options are actually achievable can enlighten girls to a wonder of opportunities.
Question and Answers from a Young Female Engineer.
Changing the stereotypes of an engineering career for girls is a must if there is to be any changes in lack of females in the industry.
Abbie Cheyne, a year 10 student attending WMG Engineering School in the Midlands agrees there should be more girls in the classroom. She wants to put across that changing attitudes and perceptions of what engineering actually involves can help get girls into classrooms.
What is the most interesting subject in school?
Definitely the technology and engineering subjects. We spend a lot of time in workshops actually making components that would be used to make cars, or pieces which are important in the engineering industry. I find being able to have lessons in a workshop is amazing as its just like being in a workplace.
What subjects do you study?
The Engineering school I attend also involves Business which I find really engaging. An area I have found interesting is Marketing, as I am now able to promote the work of engineers and see how things are actually done in a real life job.
What is your take on engineering?
Before I came to WMG, I had the exact same thought as a lot of other young students, engineering is a dirty job and its not really for girls, but I was so wrong. Engineering is about so much more than what I originally thought. Not many people notice that the latest iPhone has been engineered to work the way it does, computers and laptops need specialist engineers for all of the different components. Its not just about oily rags and dirty hands whilst changing oil, it’s a part of our everyday life more than people think.
What do you plan to do after school?
I am in a great position as the school is sponsored by some amazing companies such as Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover. I would like to go on and work for a leading car manufacturer in their business department which studying engineering subjects has enhanced as knowing different components of the latest car is also part of the job.
How to make a difference?
Changing the statistics can easily start during school. By enhancing the importance of STEM subjects as core options at GCSE level can increase the number of girls in these classrooms. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math’s can seem boring and complicated, yet can continue to career options you’ve never imagined. Also, take full advantage of school trips to venues such as The National Space Centre. Although this is not the first career you think of when considering engineering, but working alongside NASA in building the latest rockets looks pretty amazing as a career option.
The STEMettes organisation has been introduced to “inspire the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math’s.” They uniquely hold events which welcomes anyone to attend and meet inspiring women in the STEM network.
Another organisation which encourages girls to get into the engineering sector is the Small Piece Trust. They have been giving young people everything they need to fuel their future career in engineering and changing the stereotypes as they go along. They offer STEM days to take place at your school, which bring these subjects to life.
So what next?
Opportunities in Liverpool are even closer than you think. The Big Bang Fair is coming in July, and give you and your classmates a chance to engage in exciting, different events than your normal school timetable. Visit https://nearme.thebigbangfair.co.uk/North_West/ for more details.
You can also visit the websites mentioned above and let your imagination run wild!