Women in Engineering and technical occupations

Activities were proving slow in getting the Women in Engineering element of the GTA England website operational. However, we are now gaining some momentum and held an exploratory meeting with a number of GTAs to consider what activity could be put in place to encourage an increase in female applicants into engineering/technical provision. We were fortunate to have three female Apprentices attending the meeting who underlined the vital importance of both work experience (including in-Centre experience) and the role of positive role models. One such Apprentice making a great contribution at the meeting was Rosie Roberts. Employed at DPS, Rosie explains, “By having female mentors in an engineering business, young women may be encouraged to apply for apprenticeships within the career as the mentors will be seen as relatable role models to aspire to. Young women may feel intimidated by the idea of a career in a male- dominated environment, but they may feel they could approach a female mentor with more ease. These mentors would begin to create diversity in the workplace and make the environment more balanced and in doing so, create a comfortable workplace for both sexes.

The attitude that engineering is a male career needs to change. The only way to do that is to change people’s perception of engineering. Having spoken with some of the tutors at my training provider, all have spoken positively about how young women tend to be the most focused and driven, having chosen a career out of the norm. Bringing in female mentors is certainly a way of encouraging more.” We will use this feedback to develop arrangements to pilot over the next few months with the following being key elements:

• Case study material/profiles from women successfully entering and thriving in engineering and technical occupations (preferably video)

• Identify female mentors within GTAs staff

• Identify female Apprentices to act as mentors

• Agree a programme of training/support with the staff and Apprentice mentors

All GTAs attending have agreed to undertake the above (Derwent Training; Rochdale Training; SETA; STEGTA; SWDT; T2000 and JTL). The intention is to produce a programme of support to be branded appropriately for GTAs to use in their own arrangements and on their websites.

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