Female students from universities across the UK attended Siemens’ UK headquarters in Manchester where they met inspirational women engineers at various stages of their careers.
Of the 42 students who attended, 33 have been fast tracked for early careers opportunities at Siemens’ Digital Industries, Smart Infrastructure and Mobility divisions, such as three-month summer placements, intern development and graduate development programmes. Meanwhile, other participants have been offered opportunities with Siemens’ Healthineers, Gamesa, and Energy divisions.
Women only make up 24% of the STEM workforce in the UK and Siemens, holding events such as this, demonstrate that it is playing its part to address the gender gap.
Earlier this year Siemens revealed it is targeting 50/50 gender parity in its early careers recruitment by 2025. Current figures show 43% of those enrolled in graduate programmes and 36% in apprenticeship schemes are female.
Victoria Little, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner for Siemens, said: “Social mobility, inclusivity and diversity are priorities for our business. As a company we acknowledge that we need to do our bit to empower, inspire and break down some of the stereotypes surrounding a career in STEM.
“While we have run similar kinds of events like this over the years, we’ve never attempted it on such a large scale. This was a real opportunity for Siemens to ramp up recruitment of talent and skillful young women and play a leading role in bridging the gender gap. With more than 30 participants now being considered for internship and graduate positions, it has been a resounding success.”’
Participants from universities from Southampton up to Glasgow travelled to Manchester for the Women in Engineering event on October 21 where senior engineers Sarah Black-Smith, Head of Factory Operations for Siemens Digital Industries, and Faye Bowser, Head of Energy & Performance Services at Siemens plc, shared their inspirational career journeys.
Meanwhile, Siemens’ current crop of female engineering talent, including Natalie Gristwood and Kathryn Grimwade, from Siemens DI, and Sophie Beckingham, Marvellous Nikwocha, Yanely Jimenez, Allegria Bwitonzi, and Kelly Lo from Siemens Mobility, gave their insights of what a career in engineering can look like.
Reflecting on the event Faye Bowser, Head of the Energy & Performance Services team for Siemens plc, said: “It was a delight to be able to meet the fresh wave of young female talent looking to explore a career in engineering, and reflect upon my career so far to inspire this next generation. I remember being there myself, feeling daunted and excited for what the future would be. I felt inspired and energised by seeing this group of gifted young women who I’m sure will go on to achieve wonderful things.
“As a business we need to proactively keep raising the bar. Currently only 12% of the UK engineering workforce are women. At a time when we’re facing society's greatest challenges such as climate change we need to harness diversity-of-thought to become a more inclusive and vibrant workforce fit for the future.”