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WISE Knowledge Sharing Event at Mott MacDonald

EDT’s Future Industry Leaders Awards 2015

Attracting young women to your scholarship, apprentice and graduate programmes

27 April 2016

Representatives from WISE members met at Mott MacDonald’s premises in Southampton to hear from a selection of presenters and share their own experiences and best practices to engage and attract girls to their scholarships, apprenticeships and graduate programmes.

A short description of each presentation follows, presentations and the key themes for success can be found in the WISE Members area of the website.

Jennifer Ogawa – What were the key drivers of my decisions

Jennifer Ogawa from Mott MacDonald shared her experience as a young female engineer.

Jennifer is a Chartered Civil Engineer working in the Highways division at Mott MacDonald. She joined the company in 2005 as a Graduate Civil Engineer and has since been involved in a variety of highway projects in the UK and overseas. Jenny has profound experience in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and has published a number of papers in the area of managed/ smart motorways. Jenny was awarded Engineer of the Year at the Civils/Infrastructure Woman in Construction Awards 2015 and is currently a WISE ambassador for Mott MacDonald.

Jennifer was initially attracted to Mott Macdonald because of its

  • Global reach
  • Good balance of on-site and office based work
  • Opportunities for development

These combined with an inclusive culture where women feel comfortable create an environment where female engineers can flourish. Jennifer described how, the interview process and 2 day induction demonstrated a culture attractive to female students and she now gets involved in graduate recruitment and careers fairs explaining to girls how engineering is about relationship building and team work – characteristics that they find appealing and may not have associated with engineering careers.

See Jennifer’s slides in the WISE Member area

Rebecca Mullens – Engaging Girls and women at careers fairs

Rebecca is an Area Quantity Surveyor working on the Highways England Asset Support Framework for Interserve Construction. Rebecca has been working on various Highways Frameworks in the South of England since 2004. She has extensive experience in collaborative working, building the team and cost management. As a STEM Ambassador and a WISE Ambassador Rebecca regularly undertakes sessions with students from year 5 to 13 encouraging interest in STEM subjects as well as Construction.

Rebecca shared how it was a lack of leaders in the Brownies that initially highlighted to her how young girls were not being exposed to simple engineering tasks and therefore had no real understanding of how engineering was accessible to them, but once they tried some hands-on exercises became really enthusiastic.

In Rebecca’s role as a STEM ambassador for Interserve she frequently visits schools and Brownie groups using resources such as WISE People Like Me toolkit and hands-on challenges such as building weight building structures using a pack of playing cards. This role is supported 100% by the business who recognise the value of these initiatives in engaging and developing their future workforce.

Other initiatives Rebecca is engaged in to attract girls include:

  • Building relationships with schools close to Interserve sites
  • Bringing girls into their sites for one-week work placements
  • Offering one year in industry places
  • Offering a sponsorship programme for over 18’s

Daniel Reed – Transferable lessons from EDT

Daniel is the Senior Scheme Manager for the South East at EDT, a STEM education charity whose mission is to inspire young people to reach their full potential through careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. Starting his career in the Army, Danny took early retirement and changed career into teaching at an FE college in Hampshire where he then progressed into the delivery of Apprenticeships and recruitment of companies to support students. Danny now leads the Industry Project schemes across the South East, East of England and London. These schemes engage thousands of 12-17 year old students each year in engineering and science activities, of which around 40% are girls. Each year Danny arranges residential workshops in a number of universities across the region including Cambridge, UCL and Hertfordshire providing opportunities for year 12 students to work on their industry projects but in an HE setting. Danny is married with two children.

EDT aims to change perceptions and improve skills for the future of the UK economy through various programs, getting children out of the classroom. Some of these are specifically targeted at girls.

Details of these program can be found in Daniel’s presentation on the WISE Member area of the website.

Key Themes

Read the Key Themes / recommendations in the WISE Member area

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