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Let's hear it for the girls! International Women in Engineering Day, 23rd June 2018

Today (23rd June) is International Women in Engineering Day, which takes place annually in June to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the incredible career opportunities available to young women in this exciting industry. This year’s theme is ‘Raising The Bar’.

We have two amazing young female Engineering Apprentices working with us as Apprenticeship Ambassadors, helping to raise awareness of both Engineering and Apprenticeships by sharing their experiences with school students as they consider their career options. Find out how Abi and Katherine are going the extra mile to raise awareness of what they do and why Engineering is so great…

Abi Crawforth

Abi Crawforth is a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice with Williams F1 in Grove and currently finishing her NVQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering portfolio. Abi initially went through a two-year rotation programme in various areas amongst the business including composites, inspection, model shop and fabrication. Now in her third year, Abi has chosen to specialise in CNC machining.

Abi's main responsibility is the programming, setting and running of various CNC lathes within the department. These produce complex tight tolerance components which range from hydraulic systems parts to transmission and suspension components for F1 race cars. Abi works within a fast paced and high-pressured environment, working to tight deadlines and meeting ambitious targets. She works well under pressure and always brings a positive attitude and strong impact to her team.

Abi is a fantastic role model for young women in engineering and challenges stereotpyes of women and young people within a male dominated environment. Her attitude and ability have won her the respect of managers and colleagues alike. She has overcome challenges with dyslexia to achieve amazing results throughout her Apprenticeship.

Abi has been back to her former school, Lord Williams’s School in Thame, to talk to students and parents about her experience as an Apprentice and taken part in INWED activities with her employer.

Abi says: “My experience in this Apprenticeship so far has taught me so much more than the job itself. I like to call it a Life Apprenticeship. Your colleagues, management, HR and fellow Apprentices all make up your daily interactions and they can all teach you so much.”

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Read more about Abi.

Katherine Mordecai

Katherine is a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice with the Science & Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. She started her Apprenticeship in September 2015 after completing GCSEs at Burford School.

The opportunity to work abroad as part of her Apprenticeship appealed to Katherine, as did the chance to gain work experience through working on exciting projects in a variety of placements across the site, experiencing different environments and learning from expert colleagues. Katherine has gained practical knowledge and hand skills - such as machining and welding - through an NVQ Level 3, whilst also developing her academic knowledge through a BTEC Level 3 and HNC.

As an Apprenticeship Ambassador, Katherine has given talks at her former school and attended careers events across the county to help raise awareness of the opportunities to gain higher level qualifications and invaluable work experience that an Engineering Apprenticeship can offer.

Katherine’s advice for other young women considering a career in engineering is: “Never stop believing that you can do engineering and go and see/look around some engineering places to get an idea of what it is all about. Never let just one person put you off a career in engineering as their experiences may be nothing like yours.”

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Read more about Katherine.

Go girls!

It’s fantastic to see such amazing and successful female Engineering Apprentices ‘Raising The Bar’ and encouraging other young women in Oxfordshire to consider a career in Engineering. What wonderful role models!

Find out more about International Women in Engineering Day at: www.inwed.org.uk and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #INWED18 and #RaisingTheBar.