As a student, I’ve found that there are a few things that become more important to you. It’s well known what students value especially; free food, spending time with other students, and making a difference. I attended an event last week that had all three!
The Women’s Engineering Society runs a student conference every year. Leicester wasn’t planning to send any students but Jaguar Land Rover had sponsored a few bursaries for places so I applied for one. This meant I could meet lots of lovely engineering girls (I’m not used to seeing so many in one place at a time!), hear about engineering developments and how companies are trying to get more women in to engineering and, crucially, in to positions of leadership. During the event at Aston University we had plenty of opportunity to network and catch up with old friends, hear from representatives from companies including the BBC, Tata Steel and General Electric, and attend workshops on topics including successful mentoring and Insights to Leadership. One of the talks from a representative at Martin Baker was about ejector seats which I found especially interesting as they save lives and involve pyrotechnics! Amazing.
Women in Engineering is one of the causes that are important to me. I want to work in engineering. I want to be able to do well at it. Most importantly though, I don’t want to have to choose between a satisfying career and having a family in the future; a choice is seems female engineers still have to make. While WES is trying to counter this I’ll gladly keep attending their events, even after I graduate and the free food loses its attraction!
If you’re a Woman in Engineering, considering studying the subject, or are even vaguely interested in the topic of Women in STEM subjects I’d recommend you have a look at the WES page for the student conference here: http://conference.wes.org.uk/eng-inspiration and then have a look around the page as a whole.
I also recently attended a day at Shell for Women in Engineering with Microsoft, Edf, and a few other engineering employers so keep checking back for a post on that soon!