More than 200 young women from across Suffolk and Norfolk took part in an inspirational event aimed at encouraging them into a career in engineering today.
Award-winning female engineer Virginia Ruiz Albacete of ScottishPower Renewables joined them at a Women in Engineering event at Wherstead Park, Ipswich, which was aimed at challenging industry stereotypes and getting more women into the profession.
Ms Ruiz Albacete, who won the Young Professionals Green Energy Awards’ Achiever award this year for her outstanding achievements as a senior analyst consultant, gave an insight into what her job involves, provided tips for aspiring engineers and raised awareness of opportunities within the field.
“With women making up just 10% of the engineering sector, inspiring young women to consider a career in science or engineering and supporting them through career decisions is a very important part of our skills strategy and commitment to East Anglia,” she said.
“Actively challenging the perception that engineering is all about boiler suits and hard hats is really helping to bring the sector to life for young people. It’s great to see the students engaged and broadening their minds to what’s out there for them.”
The seminar and exhibition, organised by Connect Education and Business, also included talks and question and answer sessions from other key female role models across the sector.
Students came from 18 schools across Norfolk and Suffolk: Ormiston Venture Academy, Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, City of Norwich School, East Point Academy, Ormiston Victory Academy, Broadland High School, Downham Market Academy, Notre Dame High School, Holbrook Academy, Thurston Community College, Kesgrave High School, Ixworth Free School, Bungay High School, County Upper School, St Benedicts Upper School, Stour Valley Community School, Ormiston Denes Academy and Hartismere School.
ScottishPower Renewables, which has started onshore pre-construction work for its 102 turbine East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm, 30 miles off the coast of Suffolk, which is one of four it is planning off the coast of Suffolk, says it is keen to develop a skilled, local workforce for the jobs created by the four projects.