Aberdeen stages Women in Engineering conference

Dozens of girls from schools throughout the UK are in Aberdeen for a conference designed to attract more young women into engineering careers.

The second Women in Engineering Conference is being staged at Aberdeen University’s School of Engineering with the fully-funded residential course running until today.

The event is giving 45 girls, aged 15 to 17, an opportunity to explore engineering in both a university and workplace environment.

Yesterday, an interactive programme with hands-on engineering-based tasks and speed mentoring sessions with female engineers was followed by a visit to BP’s Aberdeen HQ.

Professor Igor Guz, head of the university’s engineering school, said: “While progress is being made in encouraging women into engineering, the percentage of women in the profession remains low.

“Through initiatives like this, we are working to be at the forefront of efforts by schools, universities and industry leaders to tackle this challenge.”

St Margaret’s School for Girls pupil Katie Yeoman, 16, from Aberdeen said: “We got to speak to a huge range of people at BP in a huge range of engineering careers.

“I’m trying to figure out which branch of engineering I want to get into. I am thinking of going into either chemical or civil engineering – I am using this conference to find out which suits me best.

“I think for teams to function properly, you need both genders, so I think
it’s very important that more women get involved in the engineering sector.”
Peterhead Academy pupil Alix Stephen, 16, said: “I’ve learned a lot and got to talk to a lot of different women engineers.

“I’ve learned about the different kinds of engineering and the different roles they play.

“Right now, there are a lot of men in engineering, but they’re trying to attract more women and I think that’s a good thing.”

Inverness Royal Academy pupil Lucy Kingham, 16, said: “It’s shown me how you can adapt different subjects to different jobs within different industries.

“I was debating about a career in architecture, but after today I’m set on a career in engineering.

“This conference is important because I think that, a lot of the time, women are too scared to get into engineering because it is so male-dominated.”

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