Meet the female, plumber, welder and mechanical engineers all making their mark in a man’s world
4th July 2017
Engineering is often considered to be a male-dominated profession that women can feel discouraged from entering, however some female students from the Grimsby Institute are breaking the mould, showing that girls can be just as successful as the boys.
A special event was held at the Grimsby Institute to mark International Women in Engineering Day, where students and their teachers sought to demonstrate that engineering is not just for men, but can be a profession where women can not only do well, they can often outshine their male counterparts.
Women currently account for only 9 per cent of the UK’s engineering workforce, and employers are crying out for more of them to enter the profession.
At the Institute the engineering students set out stalls and spoke with other students about why they feel it is important to encourage more women to get involved it.
Nick Marshall, Head of Manufacturing Engineering Fabrication and Welding said: "We are here to promote and celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, where we are promoting and showcasing the talents of our female engineers, and encourage more girls to come and join our courses.
"There is a clear gender gap in the profession at the minute, with the industry being very male dominated, and we want to show that not only can women enjoy a good career as an engineer, but become very successful at the highest level."
There is a wide array of different types of engineering that women can get involved in at the Institute, from fabrication and welding to mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as plumbing and vehicle mechanics.
Lilly-Mae Telford, 16, has just finished her level one course in fabrication and welding, and is looking forward to starting her level two next year, eventually planning to join the Army's Royal Engineers.
She described how despite being the only girl in her class, she "feels at home" whenever she enters the work shop.
She said: "There really aren't very many women that do engineering, so I guess it is quite unique whenever we give it a go, but it is something that I really enjoy and I think that more women should give it a go.
"I don't really have anything in particular that I could pick out as something I enjoy because I like doing a little bit of everything and I love how hands-on and practical the course is.
"Everyone on the course is really supportive of me, treating me the same as everyone else like I am one of the lads, and as soon as I walk into the workshop I feel at home.
"I come from a military background so I am hoping after my training I can join the Royal Engineers."
Two mechanical engineering students Tonie McCreery, 17, and Cody Greenfield, 17, described their love of the course and how the different sets of skills that women possess can be crucial in the classroom, with their male classmates often asking them for help, which is also reciprocated when they are in need.
Tonie, who travels an hour a day from Mablethorpe to get to her course said: "There was nowhere near Mablethorpe that had a course like this that I wanted to do, and I don't mind the travel up everyday because I travel just as far to go to McDonald's in Skegness, so I think I can make it up to my course.
"I think that engineering and building things just comes more naturally to me than other stuff I have tried, when I was younger I was always with my dad as he built things in the garden, which has stayed with me, and I love getting into the practical work that we do here.
"We all have different talents in the workshop and I have found that girls excel in certain areas that boys don't and vice versa, so we are always relying on each other for help."
Cody said: "It is just a bad stereotype that women can't do engineering, it is like how people say the women's place is in the kitchen, but a lot of the world's top chefs are men, so explain that!"
Dannon Jennings, 21, is an apprentice plumber who attends the Institute once a week as part of her course, becoming one of the best students that they have, particularly when it comes to boiler repairs.
She said: "I have always been a practical person, I just can't see myself in an office, and in this line of work there is always something different every day to do, not to mention the money isn't that bad.
"I have found recently that as a woman plumber I am trusted by certain people, such as older women, to come and do jobs where if it was a man they would feel put off or scared, although sometimes when I arrive for jobs people think I am with my dad, and can't imagine a girl who is a plumber coming to the door.
"I also get a lot of support with the guys that I work with, and it is just like I am one of the lads, but it would be worrying for me if it was anything different, I don't want people treating me differently."
News Courtesy: www.humberbusiness.com