As reported in The Atlantic, a recent study found that “female engineering undergraduates who are paired with a female mentor felt more motivated, more self-assured, and less anxious than those who had either no mentor or a male one. They were less likely to drop out of their courses, and keener to look for engineering jobs after they graduated.”
As an apprenticeship training provider graduating hundreds of engineers each year, we at EEF has seen first-hand the power of strong mentors in helping fortify and guide the next generation of the industry. From our tutors (including women who have experience in the UK manufacturing industry) to the head of our Technology Training Centre, Christine Chapman, we show our female apprentices what is possible and they are not alone in loving technology, creating and building.
Even after entering the industry as apprentices, we try to encourage as much networking between industry professionals as possible. This is a great way for organisations to share ideas of what works when it comes to attracting a more diverse workforce as well as giving women in engineering and in leadership positions a chance to meet peers and mentors. Just two examples are our ongoing HR Connect and Manufacturing Connect events. These events are often attended by our Regional Managers who help facilitate links between industry organisations as well as between the industry and policymakers. Amongst our regional team are Charlotte Horobin (Midlands and the East) and Liz Mayes (North East) who are on Twitter and eager to hear your thoughts for how we can all better support women in the industry.
As we work with a wide array of manufacturers, we enjoy hearing about the success stories of women in their businesses. From senior executives to health and safety managers to the shop floor, we see women thriving in our industry. We’ve chronicled a few of these stories in our Women in Manufacturing profiles.
And with International Women in Engineering Day this Friday, 23 June, we’d like to hear from you. Do you know an amazing woman in engineering you think we should profile? Does your engineering organisation have concrete strategies for recruiting, retaining and advancing women? Let me know on Twitter by tagging me (@EEF_CGumble) and using the hashtag #womeninmfg).