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The sky’s the limit for women in engineering in Wales

Grace Lewis had her eyes opened by NASA, was supported by University of South Wales and is now lead engineer at Aston Martin.

To mark International Women in Engineering Day, The Welsh Government wants to shine a light on the range of initiatives aimed at encouraging girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers, such as funding programmes specifically focused at girls, with the aim of increasing the numbers from secondary schools engaging with STEM industries. It also fully funds degree apprenticeships in Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing that combine real-world workplace learning with a higher education qualification.

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles yesterday said: 

Wales is a great place for tech and engineering companies to establish, invest and grow, and there is a high demand for a skilled workforce. Historically, women have been under-represented in this sector, and as a Government, we’re determined to change this. 

Learning engineering skills will put you on the path for careers which will provide a good living and exciting experiences for the rest of your working life. In Wales, you absolutely can succeed as engineers.

One woman who is living proof of this aspiration is Grace Lewis, Lead Engineer at Aston Martin in the Vale of Glamorgan. She yesterday said:

I had always been fascinated by science and maths while at school and had a particular interest in Astronomy and Space Travel. A school trip to the NASA sites opened my eyes up to how many people work on making a space mission happen. Most of the NASA employees I met were engineers, so this is when I first started asking ‘can I be an engineer?’

At university, I found the work-based learning aspect particularly exciting, and it was such a privilege to apply my current education in a world-leading aircraft engine plant. I loved comparing my technical knowledge with industry best practices and bringing new and emerging technologies into the workplace.

A degree apprentice graduate from the University of South Wales, Grace joined the Product Development team at McLaren in Surrey in 2021, and was later approached by Aston Martin. She added:

It felt like the right time to return to Wales, and to work for such an iconic brand. Aston Martin have recently founded an Inclusion Network with strands to support all minority groups within the business. Aston Martin are working towards increasing the female headcount within the business, particularly in engineering roles.

Grace is one of the Welsh Government’s STEM Ambassadors. Speaking about her role, she yesterday said:

Volunteering as a STEM Ambassador has given me a platform to share my skills with young learners while actively encouraging them to consider STEM careers. My mission is to help the STEM industries become a fairer and more accessible place for young people - regardless of gender, birthplace or minority group. I’ve been lucky enough to both welcome students on-site and visit them at schools and colleges.

 

Channel website: http://gov.wales

Original article link: https://www.gov.wales/skys-limit-women-engineering-wales

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