E is for Engineering, Higher Education and Gender Equality

Higher Education & Gender Equality

From September 2019 The University of Leeds Educational Engagement STEM team will be working with local secondary schools to deliver a five year collaborative programme to inspire the next generation of engineers.

The aim of the programme is to empower girls in Key Stage 3 & 4 studying Maths, Science and DT or Engineering to make informed choices about subject choices at GCSE and A Levels, increase visibility of types of Engineering courses available at Post 16 and learn about Engineering careers.

‘Women make up just 12.3% of all engineers in the UK, and only one in five of jobs are held by women in the wider engineering sector as a whole’ says Elizabeth Donnelly, CEO of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) https://www.theguardian.com/careers/2019/jun/26/how-changing-attitudes-are-closing-the-gender-gap-in-engineering

In 2019/ 20 we will work closely with two widening participation schools from low participation neighbourhoods in West Yorkshire to deliver a series of activities in school and on campus. Activities will focus on using maths in an applied setting alongside interactive Engineering challenges where students will take on the role of an engineering while working in small teams.

Delivered by Postgraduate students from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the project will focus on practical skills identified by University of Leeds academics as being attractive to industry such as resilience, problem solving, communications and creativity.

In December 2019 year 7 girls will be invited to visit The University of Leeds to learn about the history of Women in Engineering plus develop their own inventions in the specialist teaching labs with bespoke equipment. Students will then visit Leeds Central Library to see their original collection of patents and meet invited speakers including Lynette Willoughby, the former President of the National Women’s Engineering Society.

We will be working with teachers to further develop their knowledge of Engineering courses and careers available alongside working with parents to challenge the perception of an Engineer, which to this day is often perceived as a males role.

Only 35% of STEM teachers felt confident in giving engineering careers advice, and this has remained unchanged for a few years.’ (Engineering UK 2017: The State of Engineering, http://www.engineeringuk.com/media/1355/enguk-report-2017.pdf)

Watch this space!

If you are a teacher and would like more information around how to get involved please contact:

Natalie Duffield-Moore/ Lead Officer STEM – n.duffield-moore@leeds.ac.uk / 0113 3431062