One of the region’s leading engineering firms has completed a six-month engineering project with Newcastle High School for Girls as part a bid to help reverse gender imbalance in the industry.

The UK has the lowest proportion of women in engineering roles in Europe, with only 7% of engineering professionals being female, while the proportion of women in engineering apprenticeships is even lower.
In order to help tackle this trend and inspire a new generation of women to consider careers in the sector, Washington-headquartered Walker Filtration is working alongside the Engineering Development Trust (EDT).

As part of a wider Engineering in Education Scheme, it worked with Newcastle High School for Girls to deliver a live project brief to a group of Year 12 students.

The six-month initiative saw the AS-Level Physics pupils receive hands-on work experience through testing and evaluating recently developed filtration products.

During the project phase, the girls were encouraged to show industrial enterprise, creativity and innovation whilst gaining extensive experience of problem-solving, team-working and project management.

The project culminated with a technical report and the girls also presented their findings to members of the Walker Filtration Senior Management Team.

On completion of six months, they attained the British Association (BA) Gold CREST Award.

Hilary French, headteacher at Newcastle High School for Girls, said: “I am delighted that our girls have been part of such a high quality educational enrichment scheme.

“It is so important that girls have access to schemes that open their eyes to the wide range of career opportunities in STEM organisations.

“The invaluable work experience provided by Walker Filtration will enable the girls to make an informed decision about their future studies and potential career in engineering.”

Walker Filtration places significant emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and has a policy of investing in the local and wider communities of the North East.

Other CSR initiatives that have taken place this year include donations to local hospitals as well as fundraising for national children and cancer charities.

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