Children, in particular girls, ask themselves what career they should choose at different stages throughout their school life. The vast majority of them tend to think about a more definitive career choice at the latter stages of secondary school education or when entering Sixth Form/College, mainly because they tend to base their decisions on factors such as performance in specific subjects and developing interest but other more critical factors can be work experience and also family influence. The decisions are therefore entirely dependent on their level of confidence in what they perceive as ‘The Right Thing To Do’ in their mind.
What is important however is not what others want them to pursue, but what they themselves want to do later on in life. Increasing the child’s confidence in selecting their preferred career path is therefore regarded as highly important by many. On that note, parents and some children at primary or secondary school tend to think that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related careers are more male orientated careers. However, that assumption is incorrect. As many female businesswomen, engineers, scientists and mathematicians have demonstrated over the past decades, it is becoming increasingly apparent that STEM related careers are just as open to girls as for boys.
Equality is considered to be at the heart of all businesses that offer STEM related careers in the UK, across numerous industries. To celebrate this, as an example, the annual ‘International Women in Engineering Day’ was held on 23rd June 2018 demonstrating the values that women bring to the industry and to the upcoming generations, not just from a technical or commercial perspective, but also from an inspirational perspective. Women in various positions ranging from lead structural engineers, project principals, senior site engineers and business project team managers were rewarded for their significant contribution at the ‘New Civil Engineer’ event for their achievements.
Whilst there were many other events hosted by Institutions such as the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers), IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) and IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) supporting the same cause, the emphasis to raise awareness very early at primary school stage cannot be reiterated enough. Parents can also contribute by encouraging their daughters to follow a STEM related career.
For more information related to ‘Women in Engineering’ see below