Thales is proud to again be supporting International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on 23 June – a day to recognise and celebrate women in engineering and to promote the exciting career opportunities in the field.
Diversity is the cornerstone of innovation and in order to achieve a truly diverse workforce we need an array of thoughts, skills and experiences. As it stands, female engineers account for just 9% of the engineering workforce; a discrepancy which can be attributed to the low uptake of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects by young girls.
“Working to increase the number of women in engineering is a key business priority at Thales in the UK. A diverse workforce encourages innovation, competitiveness and drives better results, which is why it’s vital that we all continue to engage young girls into STEM at an early age, to help address the gender skills gap in the UK.”
Dr. Paul Gosling, VP Engineering, Thales UK
Despite girls and boys achieving almost equal A*-C grades at GCSE, girls constitute only one fifth of A-level physics students; more alarmingly, the drop-out rate for girls doing science-based A-levels is considerably higher than for boys. Eve Maywood, Education and Outreach Manager, Thales UK believes that this is, in part, because a lack of exciting female STEM role models in the media perpetuates the myth that science and engineering are for boys.
She says, “Most young people know who Brian Cox is but where are the women bringing STEM to life and making it relevant for girls? One of the biggest problems is the assumption that you have to be extremely intelligent to do STEM subjects and this has a big impact when it comes to girls as they will often have more negative perceptions of their own ability.”
In support of STEM on International Women in Engineering Day
Thales prides itself on supporting STEM initiatives throughout the year however, on International Women in Engineering Day for 2017, there are a range of activities planned to celebrate this event.
Thales is participating in the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) People Like Me campaign which encourages female students to stick with STEM subjects post-16. This year, some of our female engineers will be working with two schools: All Saints College and Knights Academy, delivering inspiring sessions aimed at engaging them in careers in STEM.
Thales in the UK partners with Teach First to support STEM activities within schools in the UK. This partnership provides our current STEM ambassadors with additional activities and opportunities within the Teach First network of schools, local to Thales sites. Both schools participating in the People Like Me initiative are Teach First schools and we’re delighted to be supporting and developing young people’s understanding of the opportunities available to them.
Read more about International Women in Engineering Day here.