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FIBE Outreach - GirlEng #AskAnEngineer Workshop

last modified Nov 09, 2017 10:29 AM

The FIBE-organised Women in Engineering (WomEng) Outreach was a huge success! Over 40 girls of primary school age signed up for the GirlEng #AskAnEngineer Workshop to myth-bust the perceptions and stereotypes around STEM careers and explore the exciting opportunities that exist in the world of Engineering. FIBE-CDT,  with almost half of all students being female, is a proud proponent for gender equality in Engineering.  

Hema Vallabh from WomEng gave an inspiring talk on Engineering is for everyone, encouraging the girls to become creators and owners of technology rather than just consumers. WomEng is a multi-award winning social enterprise to develop the next generation of women engineering leaders in society. At the heart of WomEng is its core philosophy: Motivate, Empower, Celebrate the next generation of Women in Engineering. It’s mission is to attract, develop and retain women engineering leaders and break gender barriers in STEM careers.  

Hema brought along pink hard-hats for the children and the activity for the day included harnessing the individual inner Engineer, how they would like to leave an impact on the world and decorating these messages on the hats. The pink hard-hats is the WomEng #1MillionGirlsinStem symbol. It is a  feminised version of the traditional engineering industry hard-hat and due to its unusual candy-pink colour, a coveted item for any who comes across it! The philosophy behind the pink hard hat is to fight a stereotype with a stereotype and thus challenge the age-old perception of the male-dominated engineering industry.

Both FIBE students and staff volunteering on the day provided role models for the children in the #AskAnEngineer Workshop and were on hand to answer questions from the many parents who also participated in the event. The proudly displayed posters showcasing exciting student research projects gave an insight into the Civil Engineering discipline at FIBE-CDT.

Through Outreach like this one, WomEng aims to engage and encourage girls at a young age, hence GirlEng, who may one day make a global impact and a difference in the world.  Looking at the children proudly wearing their beautifully decorated hats with empowering messages such as, “Stop global warming”,  “Knowledge and Creativity”, “We can do it!”, I was left in no doubt that these girls were more than geared up to punch through the gender barrier in Engineering. Give them…oh… another 10 years or so… then it’s Watch Out World!