Funding for the group has been provided through a generous donation of £30,000 over three years from Roger and Sue Whorrod. The financial support will be used to provide seed funding for a range of activities which are likely to include the training of STEM ambassadors, outreach work with schools, a speaker programme, social and networking events, courses, conferences and industrial visits.
At the opening of the Student Women in Engineering Group, Mr Roger Whorrod met with a group of senior female staff and students from each of the departments in our Faculty of Engineering & Design to discuss the formation of a flagship student affiliate group within the Women's Engineering Society.
There are 2.3 million engineers employed in the UK, of which only 6.7 per cent are female. This demonstrates the considerable work that needs to be done in order to overcome the gender imbalance.
The Dean of Engineering & Design, Professor Gary Hawley, believes it is essential for existing women engineers to be in a position to nurture and develop the next generation of inspiring female engineers. He said: "The Student Women in Engineering Group has been created in recognition of the need to develop and direct activities at all levels to promote engineering as an exciting, inclusive, and rewarding career for young women."
Lord Browne of the Royal Academy of Engineering said: "If the UK is to remain competitive we must seek out, develop and use the full talents of potential engineers from all backgrounds. Diverse teams produce better results in engineering, where different experiences and ways of thinking often lead to innovative outcomes. Women make up a large pool of talent that is still significantly untapped by the engineering profession."
It is estimated that in the next decade, the UK economy will require 100,000 STEM graduates each year, compared to the current 90,000 per year. At Bath we aim to help minimise this shortage by encouraging more female engineering applicants.
Our Faculty of Engineering & Design has, this week, launched a set of web pages to support and celebrate the Faculty’s female students, staff and alumni. Professor Cathryn Mitchell, from our Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, said: "We have started the web pages because we hope to attract more women into engineering. We cannot achieve our best without first recruiting the best."
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