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Demonstrate to women that you want to retain and develop them...

15 September 2014

While the automotive sector has been a male dominated industry, almost half of all Nissan drivers in the UK are women, which is why the company is taking positive steps to make sure that women are well represented when it comes to building, designing and engineering its cars as well as driving them.

Nissan offers a scholarship programme at NTCE, its engineering centre of excellence in Cranfield. It sponsors 10 high calibre female students through their A level studies, encouraging them to pursue a career in engineering or similar technical field. Pupils are given a female mentor to provide support and guidance through their studies, as well as opportunities for work placements at Nissan to give them hands on experience in an engineering environment.

Now the company has signed up to support WISE’s 10 Step programme and for the first time this year will offer four female engineering students a £1500 bursary and a 12 month placement with its engineering or quality assurance departments.

The new intake will follow in the footsteps of previous graduates such as Rose Short and Katelyn Dunbar who both work in Nissan’s Operations management team after completing an industrial placement at the company’s Sunderland plant while studying Maths degrees at Northumbria University.

The pair joined the company through Nissan’s graduate scheme, which is renowned for fast tracking university leavers into positions of responsibility, as Katelyn explains: “I have already taken a lead role in projects for our last three car launches, working with suppliers to make sure they were ready for the Note, LEAF and Qashqai launches which included visits to Morocco, Slovakia, Germany and France. Every day is different in Operations Management, a normal day can range from conducting a supplier audit, completing stock checks on the production line, or arranging air freight to bring urgent parts to the plant, which are required in order to keep production moving.”

Although graduates hit the ground running, they are also supported by an extensive training and development programme including leadership courses, communication skills and project planning which as well as providing the skills needed to do the job helps build lasting relationships within the company: “The graduates are kept together for training, so you quickly form close connections with the group. We have a thriving graduate and placement community at Nissan, not only forming great working relationships, but also great friendships outside of work.”

Nissan’s recruitment focusses on attracting graduates not just with the best grades but who also have the right attitude irrespective of their gender and for Katelyn, as she comes to the end of her graduate scheme, the attraction of working for the UK’s biggest car builder is what comes next: “My role has been extremely challenging and exciting and looking to the future, I have now completed 2 years as a Graduate Controller, and due to my progress and attainment on the scheme I will soon become a permanent Controller within Operations Management. I can see that there are some fantastic opportunities to develop my career at Nissan.”

Graduate and placement positions are now advertised on our website, females students interested in opportunities at Nissan should visit www.careersatnissan.co.uk

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