Following a study by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, which reports that only 9% of the UK’s engineering and technology workforce are women, we wanted to act. Last week we welcomed almost 60 teenage girls to NATS as part of our first Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.

We became aware of the IET’s #9percentisnotenough campaign through NATS’ association with Engineering UK and thought it was something that we wanted to support.

It’s really important for young girls and women to feel confident taking up a career in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related industries. Women bring different perspectives, ideas and approaches, and growing and increasing diversity within our talent pool is critical for our success.

The ‘Bring your Daughter to Work’ event saw 13 to 18 year olds come along with a relative or family friend, seeing for themselves what work is like at our sites; Swanwick, Prestwick and Whiteley.

Among the many activities, the Swanwick group had a tour of the digital tower, the Whiteley group visited the simulators and had a radar workshop, and in Prestwick, the group watched a radar showing live traffic and visited the viewing gallery.

Lots of the girls are studying STEM subjects at school and a few attendees were waiting for their exam results, so it was particularly relevant for them.

In terms of the event, the feedback we’ve had from the girls has been fantastic and we’ve also had some lovely ‘thank you’ messages from parents.

An overwhelming majority have said the day has made them think more about a future career in engineering.

We certainly hope to build on the success of the event and run more in the future, to help give young people the opportunity to explore engineering and technical opportunities.

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