Wednesday was the official end to the Ingenious Women project that I have been lucky enough to be involved with.
It was a great day, I love meeting up with the other girls involved as we have quickly formed some strong bonds.
We spent most of the time each doing a short presentation about what we have learnt from the project, what our high points were and how we are going to carry on in the future. It was amazing to hear all the inspiration and confidence that we had each gained from each other and the mentors. We also heard from a few of the media mentors and other people connected in someway to the media/science/engineering.
It was particular interesting to hear from Jean Venables who was named the most in a survey where one of the questions was to name a female engineer. Times have changed a fair bit since she was a trailblazer in civil engineering but unfortunately some of her stories were all too familiar to women in the room.
Afterwards most of us retired to a cocktail bar to make the most of happy hour – mmmmmmm cocktails! (I recommend having a Pure Lust in Jewels bar near Piccadilly Circus….strawberries and cream mmmmmmmmm) As quite often happens over a drink we came up with a plan for world domination – well not quite, but we are all committed to carrying on raising the profile of women in engineering and hopefully we have a few plans in the pipeline to help us do this. Keep your eye out as I’m sure we’ll need some help with them!
I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved with the project from The UKRC to the Royal Academy of Engineering, the mentors, the mentees and the great people who took the training sessions. THANK YOU ALL!
And to finish, my answers (probably better than in my presentation as I can’t forget bits this time ;)) are summarised below:
What were the high points of the project?
– forming an invaluable network with the other women engineers [I’ve never really felt the need before and I do work with a couple of female engineers but it’s amazing, it really does make a difference knowing that I’ve got people I can ask certain questions that don’t occur to men!]
– the training sessions
– having a couple of girls contact me through twitter and facebook to ask about getting into F1 and engineering. That’s what it’s all about!
What did you learn?
– social media isn’t just for fun! [It can be a valuable tool so to celebrate that I’ve got a work related photo on twitter – it probably won’t last as I would rather not have the team I work for quite so clearly advertised 😉 ]
– second life isn’t just a game, it has benefits for meetings and conferences etc too.
– talk slowly when doing presentations and don’t be afraid to pause!
– don’t need to use jargon as its more important to get across enthusiasm for the topic
How will you continue communicating a passion for engineering (or something similar!)
– do more as a STEM ambassador, particularly careers events
– write a post about how to become an engineer with hints/tips to have an easy resource to pass on
– possibly get involved in mentoring after a request for advice from one of the other engineers who is a mentor
– keep flying the flag for girls in marshalling as well as engineering
– keep the Ingenious Women group going and possibly collaborate on more projects (one engineer is considering putting together a careers DVD for example).