For a number of years, a key point on the SVAS Education Plan has been what we can do to help tackle the chronic shortage of women in engineering. We were delighted when the Collection agreed to host an event on International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on Friday 23rd June. The Collection’s High Flyers event was an activity driven after school careers event very much aimed at inspiring and engaging young ladies with the myriad of opportunities available to them in all fields of engineering and enabling them to meet a diverse and eclectic mix of role models.
The attending companies varied from local companies such as Hitching based civil engineering consultants Stomor and West Anglia Training Association to international companies such as Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, FE and HE establishments such as Bedford College and Coventry University and associated organisations such as Aviation Skills Partnership and RAeS. The event was not exclusively aeronautical, with civil engineering, electrical engineering and chemical engineering companies booked to attend, but it did have a strong aviation flavour.
The focus was very much on inspiring young ladies into a career in engineering and all exhibitors actively engaged with visitors. Plenaries were delivered by a diverse mix of young and old; students through to industry experts; hobbyists through to a national champion / record breaker.
Not only was the SVAS was pleased to provide behind the scenes support for this event, but a number of SVAS ground crew also attended, sharing their experiences of working at the Collection on display days and how the experience has had a positive impact on their career choice.
Initial feedback from visitors and exhibitors has been extremely positive and we look forward to this event becoming a permanent fixture on the Collection’s calendar.