At Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre Barb Samardzich, Ford of Europe’s chief operating officer and Graham Hoare, director of Global Engineering Operations, announced an inaugural £1,000 Ford Prize for Women in STEM studies.
Attendees included local MPs Stephen Metcalfe and Rebecca Harris, Bridgend MP Madeleine Moon, and representatives from WES, SEMTA and ScienceGrrl – organisations focused on science and engineering.
Recognising that women are traditionally under-represented in STEM studies and the related professions, Ford is launching the prize to recognise the achievements of women studying STEM based subjects and to encourage other women to become involved. In association with the Ford Professional Women’s Network the £1,000 prize will be awarded to a female student who is judged to have inspired the next generation of scientists, engineers and technologists. Entries will be accepted from the 1st July at:www.ford.co.uk/experience-ford/AboutFord/FordCareers/Ford-Prize-for-Women-in-STEM-Study
A “bring your daughter to work” event was also held to celebrate and showcase female engineers within Product Development and Manufacturing in Britain. By profiling some of the roles of female engineers and demonstrating the engineering test facilities on site, the day provided 60 young female students with an insight into engineering careers at Ford as part of the company’s “Your Life” pledges.
Your Life is a government initiative to boost young people’s participation in science, technology, engineering and maths, the ‘STEM’ subjects. Ford has made a series of pledges that commit to a range of actions and on-going work to increase participation, particularly amongst young women and girls, into STEM. Full details of Ford’s “Your Life” pledges, and more information about STEM, can be found athttp://www.yourlife.org.uk/the-campaign
The day’s activities also included a keynote speech delivered by Barb Samardzich, Ford of Europe’s chief operating officer, who said: “Ford strongly supports the need for more young women to study STEM subjects and I’m delighted to announce the Ford Prize for Women in STEM study. Today’s activities are part of our on-going work to implement the Your Life pledges and encourage more young people, especially girls, into STEM careers and to inspire a future generation of engineers.”
The event also provided a networking opportunity with ‘speed-dating’ sessions facilitated by female Ford engineers on topics ranging from career development, work life balance and routes into engineering. Sarah Haslam, Powertrain Transit Engineering Manager, said” Today has been a great opportunity to show how our female engineers contribute to the automotive business and help to provide some young students with inspiring role models.”
Elizabeth Truss, MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare said “I’m very pleased to see Ford showing their commitment by signing the Your Life call to action and taking forward initiatives like this, National Women in Engineering Day, along with the Ford Network Professional Women’s Prize, to showcase the enormous contribution that women can and do make to this field and will inspire the next generation, helping to support our progress in this area. Together we can ensure young people have the skills they need to succeed in life and help the UK compete on a global scale.”
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