HS2 women engineers share career experiences with students

Women in Engineering Day at Hemel Hempstead.
Women in Engineering Day at Hemel Hempstead.

An event to encourage more women into engineering has been hosted in Hemel Hempstead.

Marking National Women in Engineering day, female engineers from HS2 Ltd met pupils at the schoolon Tuesday, June 23, to talk about the wealth of opportunties in the industry.

The event, part of HS2 Ltd’s science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) inspiration programme, was attended by 40 year 9 girls from The Cavendish School.

Organised in partnership with The Smallpeice Trust, one of the key aims of the day was to teach the students about the applications of STEM subjects, introduce them to successful women engineers, and promoting the engineering industry as an exciting, challenging sector in which to work.

Students met with the engineers in ‘speed networking’ where they had the opportunity to find out how engineers got where they are today, and what their daily work involves.

The students took part in practical activities that allowed them to start thinking like engineers and understand the real-life applications of engineering.

Beth West, HS2 Ltd Commercial Director, said: “Our female ambassadors are working to spread the message that being a woman is not a barrier to working in the rail industry.

“HS2 is a 21st century project and we want to lead by example on diversity. We strongly believe in the value of women in the workforce and currently a third of our engineers and our executive team are female. We will build on that along with the wider industry, where only 6 per cent of the engineering workforce is female.”

Simon Kirby, HS2 Ltd CEO, added: “Over the life of the project HS2 Ltd will be offering 2,000 apprenticeships to young people and 100,000 jobs. 75 per cent of students have a better idea about how academic choices affect their career path after speaking with an employer. So, days like today are really important as we need young qualified people to move into these roles and drive forward our future infrastructure development.”