A new project sponsored by UWE Bristol has kicked off to encourage, motivate and inspire more girls of Black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) into the fields of Engineering and Technology, where they are often under-represented.
The project offers opportunities for BAME girls in Years 8 and 9 to visit local engineering or technology employers (with all transportation costs covered) and to partake in mentoring meetings with professional BAME women in engineering role models.
“BAME girls in Engineering” is championed by Dr Udonna Okeke, a lecturer in Engineering Design and Mathematics at UWE Bristol. “This mentorship programme will help make the girls feel less alone as they chart a career path in Engineering and Technology,” said Udonna.
The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe and every year there is a shortfall in engineering skills. It’s estimated that enabling more women to work in engineering and technology could add as much as £28 trillion to the annual GDP in 2025.
Of the 20.5% of women working in the engineering sector in the UK in 2017, only 8.1% were from BAME groups, implying that ethnic diversity in engineering and technology is another crucial issue to be resolved.
The BAME girls in Engineering initiative aims to promote a more diverse group of engineers and create a platform for them to be part of the innovative solutions to the engineering problems in the South West of England and the UK as a whole.
How to get involved
If you’re an engineering or technology employer in the Bristol region and want to get involved you can:
- provide an opportunity for students to visit your engineering sites to see what it means to work on a typical engineering project
- nominate BAME engineers within your company that can act as mentors to the girls in the project.
- take part in UWE hosted celebration event for all those involved in the project in June 2019
To hear more about the project or to get involved as a company or school teacher, please do get in touch with Udonna.
Written by Louisa Cockbill for Engineering Our Future.