20 May 2014
A young engineer from Skipton is calling on other female engineers to apply for the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards, where she was a finalist last year at a prestigious national award ceremony in London, chaired by TV presenter Dr Alice Roberts.
Sara Underwood, an apprentice engineer at Rolls-Royce is now calling on other inspirational female engineers in to apply for the 2014 awards and become a much-needed role model for young girls considering a career in engineering.
Sara said: “Being a finalist in the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards has led to all kinds of opportunities for me to promote engineering to girls, from school and university visits to appearing in the media. I would definitely encourage other young female engineers to enter and join the campaign to help inspire a future generation of female engineers.”
Women currently represent only 7% of the engineering workforce in the UK, the lowest percentage in Europe. If this trend continues, the UK will be in a significantly weakened position to find the 87,000 new engineers it is estimated the country will need each year over the next decade (according to Engineering UK 2014, the state of engineering report).
The lack of female engineering and technician role models has been identified by Government, educators, employers, parents and young girls themselves as one of the main barriers to girls opting to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and pursue a career in engineering.
The IET is calling on successful female engineers aged under 30, from any engineering discipline, to enter the Awards and demonstrate to young girls that engineering is a diverse and exciting industry offering creative and challenging careers.
IET Chief Executive, Nigel Fine, said: “We’ve been running our Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards for 38 years and have produced a number of fantastic female ambassadors for engineering as a result. 2014 has seen growing momentum from Government, industry and educators to encourage more girls to study STEM subjects, so it seems timely and appropriate to make finding inspirational female role models who can support these efforts the key focus of our very successful Awards.”
The launch of the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards coincided with a Women into Technology and Engineering Call to Action from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, in which the IET joined government departments, private companies and educational institutions to pledge to support a change in how women and girls are encouraged to consider technology and engineering careers and the subject choices or vocational pathways that lead to them.
The deadline for entry to the 2014 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards is 31st July 2014. Full details of the Awards are available on the website: www.theiet.org/ywe.