in Aerospace / Events

Women dominate Apprentice Award Ceremony

Posted 30 September 2019 · Add Comment

The 2019 Apprentice Award Ceremony, hosted by Resource Group on 17th September, brought together apprentices, their families and employers from across the country, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, easyJet, Thomas Cook, Cobham, Marshall and CHC Helicopters.

Courtesy Resource Group

Resource Group’s 2018 Apprenticeship intake saw the highest number of female applicants. 2019 is continuing that success with another 40% increase of female Apprentices starting this year.

As part of the Awards Ceremony there were four Awards presented:

  • Academic Apprentice Aircraft Award
  • Exemplar Apprentice Aircraft Award
  • Hand Skills Aircraft Award
  • Chairman’s Award

The awards celebrate the outstanding effort of individual apprentices who have excelled in four key areas. Out of the four awards provided, three were awarded to female apprentices: Feven Zeray, Jade Bodmin and Mandy Shum. There was also a special mention for Jade Bodmin, who was the first apprentice to receive the first CAT A Certificate of recognition during the foundation phase of the apprentice programme. This has never been achieved before under the new Apprentice Standards.

Jenny Body OBE, whose career in the aerospace industry began in 1971 as a mechanical engineering undergraduate apprentice with British Aerospace, was a keynote speaker. She is the Chair of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Education and Skills Committee, in addition to chairing the RAeS Diversity & Inclusion Aeronautical Society.

During her speech, Jenny discussed the importance of working together in the aviation and aerospace industry. She detailed the real-life situations which she has negotiated to enable her to progress from an engineer to President of the Royal Aeronautical Society. She is not only a great role model to women in the sector but an influential figure for both male and female engineers to aspire to.

Women gained the vote 100 years ago this year, which was a significant occasion in British history, however there is still a substantial gap within the engineering industry between genders. The Women’s Engineering Society  (WES) states that only 12% of engineering workforce is women.

A recent Women’s Engineering Society (WES) survey found that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects are not recommended to girls, like they are to boys. Due to the lack of awareness there is naturally not an increase in females exploring career options within the STEM industries.

In 2018, Flybe explored how engrained gender role stereotypes are among 1,778 adults and 1,778 children in the UK, (to see report click here ). Relating to engineering, the research revealed that only 5% of UK adults would trust women to become engineers in the aviation sector. 60% agreed that the media is to blame for painting the perception that some jobs are more suitable for women than men.

The event emphasised the need for those within the aviation and aerospace industry to inspire young girls and women to seek a career or training within the sector. There are endless opportunities within the industry and we must support each other to raise the profile of women in aviation.

Over the last few years there have been a number of campaigns and initiatives which have helped to raise the profile of women in aviation.

Famous American toy brand, Mattel, has forged a partnership with Virgin Atlantic to encourage women to take the skies. With three new dolls, an engineer, a pilot and a cabin crew member, Mattel is encouraging young women to fly high. 

Flybe have launched FlyShe, a campaign aimed at inspiring the next generation of young women to consider a career in aviation, such as a pilot, engineer or a member of senior management.

Royal Aeronautical Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group: The society has been championing the need to improve the representation of women in the aerospace and aviation community for some time. Indeed, 2019 represents 10 years since the Society’s Women in Aviation and Aerospace Committee (WAAC) was founded.

For further information on the RAeS WAAC, click here



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