The role of women in engineering is being celebrated across Hartlepool and East Durham.
Dozens of students found out how they could be a part of the industry as Hartlepool College of Further Education hosted girls from English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, Dyke House Sports and Technology College, and St Hild’s Church of England School.
Lecturer in engineering, Helen Gott, gave an introduction before the event’s main organiser Paula Tinkler (the commercial director for Middlesbrough-based firm Chemoxy) explained her work.
The students visited Hartlepool Power Station and Caterpillar in Peterlee, before students did practical tests.
ap said she hoped the students would “be inspired into a career in this sector.”
Mick Casey, head of the Engineering School at Hartlepool College, said: “In recent years the number of female students in engineering has increased, but there is still work to be done to try and reduce the so-called gender imbalance.”
The beauty of events like this is that the students can pick things up that they would be unable to do in a classroom, and I truly hope that they will be inspired into a career in this sector.Helen Gott, Hartlepool College of Further Education Lecturer in Engineering
Elsewhere, Karen Collins loves her work as a New Product Introduction engineer with ZF TRW in Peterlee.
She added: “I enjoy my job and I don’t walk into work thinking I’m carrying out a ‘male’ role. Although, it hasn’t always been like this. When I started a mechanical and production engineering course at college, one male student said to me, ‘what are you doing this for, you’re taking a man’s job’.
“That kind of attitude is terrible, but it’s not like that here. I’m treated no differently because I’m a woman and that’s how it should be.”
Karen spoke out as Women in Engineering Day is celebrated today.
She and fellow ZF TRW worker Diane McGeorge boast a combined 49 years’ service as engineers in different departments of the global automotive giant.
ZF TRW has a longstanding commitment to promoting women into engineering roles.
Katie Barber, 14, a pupil at Cramlington Learning Village school, is on a two-week placement at the company. She was one of only two girls in her year group to choose an engineering-type work experience placement, and said she has massively enjoyed her placement at ZF TRW.