160 stu­dents tune into fe­male en­gi­neer­ing panel dis­cus­sion

The Wokingham Paper - - BUSINESS - For more in­for­ma­tion about Thames Wa­ter ca­reers, visit: cor­po­rate.thameswa­ter.co.uk/ca­reers

HOSTS OF an on­line panel event hope they have in­spired young women to con­sider a ca­reer in en­gi­neer­ing.

Last Wed­nes­day, fe­male en­gi­neers from Thames Wa­ter hosted a vir­tual panel dis­cus­sion for 160 stu­dents aged 11 to 14.

In line with In­ter­na­tional Women in En­gi­neer­ing Day, which took place on June, 23, the dis­cus­sion aimed to raise the pro­file of women in en­gi­neer­ing and high­light the many ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in the in­dus­try.

The panel dis­cussed how Thames Wa­ter, so­ci­ety and the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor can sup­port a more di­verse work­force, chal­lenge stereo­types and pro­vide greater op­por­tu­ni­ties for­women and girls in en­gi­neer­ing.

Kather­ine What­ley, one of the speak­ers and a Thames Wa­ter tech­ni­cian, said: “As an ap­pren­tice­ship grad­u­ate and fe­male en­gi­neer, I think it’s im­por­tant to cham­pion women in en­gi­neer­ing.

“I wanted to take part in this event be­cause I feel that as a sub­ject and a ca­reer en­gi­neer­ing isn’t of­ten per­ceived as an op­tion for girls at school, and I think that it is vi­tally im­por­tant to spread the mes­sage that it is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity and worth­while ca­reer path.

“I love that I have such a prac­ti­cal and ac­tive job. En­gi­neer­ing has such a broad scope and there are so many girls and women that could ben­e­fit from and thrive in this en­vi­ron­ment.”

Dina Gille­spie and Ch­eryl Atkin­son from Thames Wa­ter, as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of UTC Read­ing, a col­lege spe­cial­is­ing in en­gi­neer­ing and com­puter sci­ence, also spoke dur­ing the ses­sion.

Stephanie Mitchell, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of ca­reers and des­ti­na­tions at UTC Read­ing, said: “Hav­ing al­ways been a fe­male teacher in en­gi­neer­ing-based sub­jects, there have been times that I have had to teach whole classes of male stu­dents.

“When this sce­nario oc­curs, it be­comes an op­por­tu­nity to teach them about en­gi­neer­ing and to be­come al­lies to their fe­male peers.”

Aspir­ing en­gi­neers from across the UK tuned in to the event to learn about pos­si­ble ca­reers.

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