Talented female students studying a new engineering course at Cronton Sixth Form addressed an audience of 500 professionals from the Construction, Engineering and Housing sectors at the Inspire Summit at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester last week about the future of females in the industry.
This year’s Summit was focused around attracting and retaining women in the construction and related industries and provided the students with a fantastic opportunity to meet many influential experts in industry, organise work experience and secure mentoring links for their time at college.
Seven female engineering students including Freya Corkhill Cantwell previously from Wade Deacon and Elizabeth Holian previously from Ormiston Chadwick Academy accompanied Jo Hall, Deputy Head of Engineering at Cronton to attend the national event. They all took part in engaging presentations, panel discussions, lively debates and hands on activities with large businesses and organisations. During the conference, Freya and Elizabeth took to the stage alongside Jo to speak to the delegates about the importance of influential industry role models and the colleges strategies on the growth of female students on the engineering courses within the college.
Both Freya and Elizabeth are currently studying on the new Level 3 Architectural Engineering course at Cronton; a new course that combines the Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Engineering with the industry created Level 3 Design Engineer Construct qualification and aims to offer students live projects to provide vital skills for successful progression to university and careers in engineering and construction.
Elizabeth said, “The event was very empowering, seeing lots of different women working at all levels in construction.”
Freya said, “The day inspired me and made me realise that I could go much higher in my career. It was great to meet people from different companies and organise work placements for my course.”
Jo Hall said, “This event was a fantastic opportunity for myself and the students to address an audience of professional and highly acclaimed figures in the construction industry. I spoke about the wonderful facilities we have at the college including the new state of the art IDEA Centre, the variety of courses offered and the fact that 50% of the engineering staff are female all leading to fantastic opportunities for both female and male students.
“Freya and Elizabeth were fantastic when they addressed the audience, they spoke confidently giving their perspective of being female learners on male dominated courses. They talked about enjoying the course at college and how they are excited to manage their own project during their time at college. Both students were extremely professional and represented themselves and the college very well. It was a hugely successful event and I am proud of the students who attended.”