According to the Women’s Engineering Society, in the UK women account for only 9% of the professional engineering workforce – this representation is far lower than the European average. It has also been widely publicised that the UK economy is experiencing a shortfall of engineers, which poses a serious threat to industry and the economy in general. Industry plays a vital part in the UK economy and a diverse workforce contributes to maintaining the UK’s competitive edge in the global economy. Encouraging young women into engineering roles and preparing and informing them for their journey is the collective responsibility of business, teachers and educational institutions.
To mark this International Women in Engineering Day, BP invited young girls from local schools into the workplace where our technical and professional experts provided tailored workshops to inform and inspire girls to consider a career in STEM. For many girls this was their first chance to meet and chat with a range of engineers, all female and all working in various disciplines at BP. The girls learned about life on a platform, what happens to pipelines under extreme heat, how robots are used to connect under-sea equipment, what happens to chocolate if it doesn’t set quickly enough on a production line, and how waste fish oil could be used to power a car. They were pleased to find out that an engineer does more than just fix cars or boilers!
Discover for yourself what inspired some of BP's engineers and why they think that engineering is a great job for women.
The oil and gas industry has long been dominated by male engineers and BP is responding to this challenge by acknowledging the gap and contributing to the aspiration and inspiration of girls and young women from the earliest stages of education. Through our Enterprising Science research and development partnership with the Science Museum, University College London and King’s College London, we are building and sharing an understanding of how and why young people, particularly girls, form their attitudes to and make choices about their future careers.
“At BP, we play a key role in helping to fill the gap in STEM careers. 70% of young people like science and maths, but only 17% think that STEM careers are “for them”. The success of BP depends on these young people – they are our future. We need to do our part to promote STEM careers in schools and to encourage young people, including females, to consider a career in engineering. #menasallies”
Ian Cummins, head of upstream engineering
In BP we recognise the value of being involved from primary school level onwards, so we provide hands-on, fun workshops delivered by our engineers and experts as well as free, curriculum-linked teaching resources that can be downloaded by teachers directly from the BP Educational Service.