Siemens Lincoln is celebrating its role in encouraging women to take up a career in the engineering industry and promoting future job opportunities with the re-launch of a Females into Industry Challenge.
The challenge, which started in 2003, was set up in order to tackle the claim from Engineering UK that upwards of 1.5 million engineers will be required over the next decade.
Entry Level Talent Manager at Siemens Angela Borman, who leads the challenge, said: “I believe businesses in Lincolnshire aren’t actively encouraging females to consider engineering as a career and I think that is 50% of the population that’s not being tapped into.
“Whether it’s through schools or publicity, firms and SMEs it should be portraying that this is not a male orientated industry any more.
“One other thing that remains important to remember is that there is no age barrier to being an apprentice. Just in the same way we need to eliminate gender imbalances, there should be no set age limit. The criteria for being a good engineer is passion.”
Val Andrews (40) who completed a scholarship scheme after returning to the industry said: “I juggled my university studies with running a family and, because of my age, I was aware that I needed to have some sort of industry experience or look for a way into the industry.
“For me the University of Lincoln was the best place to be because it has such strong links with Siemens. It has been tough and a real leap of faith because I’ve had to uproot my family from Norfolk to be here.
“I feel that people like me aren’t informed enough about the options out there and the different occupations out there. It’s definitely not just for men.”
Test Engineer, Kelly Wagstaff, (35) began her career by taking on a three-year modern apprenticeship course at Lincoln College with Siemens in 1998.
Kelly, who graduated from university in 2012, now works with electricians testing the Siemens industrial gas turbines designed and manufactured in Lincoln.
She said: “If I had been introduced to this career path in my school years I definitely would have benefitted.
“The industry does come across as a male dominated environment but I have never felt intimidated, everyone is so supportive. I definitely see an opportunity to move forward in my career too.”
Susan Garrick (17), who studied at Branston Community Academy before taking on a Siemens apprenticeship through Lincoln College, is the only female in her group at Siemens.
Susan said: “The real experience has been fantastic. I don’t mind that I am the only girl, I think I probably have just as much if not more engineering experience than most of the boys.”
Beth Tufrey (17) completed her first two-day Females into Industry experience in Year 8. She is currently on a work experience week with Siemens Lincoln.
Beth added: “I was quite good at maths and Design Technology at Branston Community Academy and was directed to the challenge.
“Without actually being properly introduced to the career options within the industry I would never have considered it but it has been so fun and hands on.
“I’m quite creative and love the design aspect so it’s definitely something I would consider in the future.”