As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day this week, we look back on this time last year when Tideway welcomed girls from local Guiding youth groups to mark the occasion.
65 Brownies, Guides and Rangers, (from Greenwich, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham), were encouraged to take part in the experiments and activities laid on for them by Tideway engineers. Among these were moving tissue creatures with static electricity, designing and building newspaper giraffes as well as planting sunflower seeds.
June Saunders, the CVB Community Relations Officer who put the event together, is a qualified Brownie and Guide youth leader herself, and remembers the day fondly.
“I can’t believe how we managed to make 65 pots of slime, plant 65 sunflower pots, build model giraffes, fly paper helicopters and everything else. It was amazing how many of the girls remembered what the Tideway project was all about, and good to discuss the older girls various career aspirations.”
Engineers, health and safety, communications and environmental professionals spoke to the girls, who were fascinated to hear about our archaeological finds like the skeleton at Chambers Wharf and a humanitarian aid trip to Nepal to rebuild their water supply after the 2015 earthquakes.
Chess Loader, one of the many female engineers on Tideway, participated in the event and she hopes that continually educating the younger generation will help to raise the current percentage of women in the engineering Sector.
“Participating in the brownie event allowed me to promote a career in STEM subjects in a fun and interesting way.” she says, “It was enlightening to see so many young females interested in a career in engineering.”
After helping the girls with many of the activities Martin Griffiths, Senior Community Relations Manager, closed the visit talking about his hope that they might inspire them to look at opportunities within engineering in the future.
“I am delighted to be an honorary Brownie this evening as you explore the world of Engineering, Construction and Tunnelling. It’s exciting to imagine you could one day be working on a major building project around the world as opportunities in engineering open to you when you are older.”
Jo Malone, Brownie Leader of Bow Brownies, thanked all who volunteered: “All the girls and leaders had a great time! The girls were so happy they really didn’t want to leave, to be honest. Can’t wait for the next event!”