As part of our ongoing commitment to addressing the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers, we gave a group of schoolgirls the chance to discover what construction and engineering are really like, first-hand.
Working in collaboration with Bridgwater College, our Women into Construction and Engineering project gave the girls the chance to operate machinery, talk to Hinkley Point C staff, and explore new career options for themselves. Gemma, one of the participants says of the scheme:
“It’s a lot different from everyday school work, we are out driving diggers and stuff and I thought - this is really good, I could get a future in this.”
Most of the girls had never considered a career in construction or engineering before, and found the experience opened their eyes to a new world of opportunities.
The best way to challenge the perception that only men can be engineers and construction workers is to proudly showcase women excelling in these roles, and tackle restrictive stereotypes head on. Chloe, another of the schoolgirls who took part, agrees:
“It’s not just a men's thing. It’s definitely something that women can do and I think we need to get more women into it, because people think it’s something to do with men but it’s not. It could change what I want to do for my options, so if I want to go down the engineering route then I have to do triple science.”
Watch our video to see what a huge difference events like this can make to the lives of young women, and opening up the paths their careers may take in the future.