Pupils visit RNLI for National Women in Engineering Day

The RNLI celebrated National Women in Engineering Day on 23 June with an event at its headquarters in Poole for young women from five local schools.

With women currently making up less than 10% of the engineering sector, the event aimed to inspire students from the Purbecks, Poole, Christchurch and Bournemouth areas to make a difference in the world by pursuing a career in engineering.

Pupils had the opportunity to meet and quiz female engineers from the RNLI, Claire Fletcher and Hannah Nobbs, who discussed the different roles they play in saving lives at sea. Alongside these RNLI engineers, students also heard from Beth Gill from Survitec who helped design the new lifejackets worn by RNLI lifeboat crew.

During the event the students were given innovation challenges and taken on a tour of the All-weather Lifeboat Centre where the RNLI builds and maintains its state-of-the-art 25 knot all-weather lifeboats.

Event organiser, Julia Bullas, said: "Women currently make up less than 10% of the engineering sector and with figures showing a large forthcoming skills gap, now is a critical time to encourage girls to choose a career in the industry.

With our engineering expertise, the RNLI is in a privileged position to help champion National Women in Engineering Day to raise the profile of women in engineering and inspire the next generation of women engineers."

Career advice was on hand from Ansbury Guidance and two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassadors from Catalyst Learning and Communication Ltd ran a workshop session encouraging the young participants to explore stereotypes that create barriers to working in STEM. Members of the Soroptimist International organisation and Bright Green Enterprise also supported the event.

The RNLI’s Engineering and Asset Management department has been undertaking various initiatives to encourage more girls and boys into engineering for many years, including partnerships with Southampton University and the Engineering Development Trust.

National Women in Engineering Day is now an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the rewarding career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry.


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