01 January 2017 | Focus Articles | Technical Technical
With more and more measures being put in place to ensure equality in the workplace, it is now more accessible than ever for students to access courses and careers based on their interests, rather than worrying about what other people think or discrimination. However, sadly stereotypes do still exist, and some students are still apprehensive about starting courses that were traditionally viewed as men’s or women’s jobs.
But don’t let that stop you! There are more women than ever entering the construction industry for example, and colleges are passionate about challenging stereotypes, opening up careers to anyone who feels passionate about them, and removing barriers to success. We spoke to Bria Edgley-Green, an Engineering student at Central College Nottingham, to find out if her experiences as a woman in engineering have affected her education.
How did you get into engineering?
I finished school and then did one year of A levels, but it just didn’t suit me, so I did some research and decided to apply for an engineering course at Central College Nottingham. After doing a Level 2 course I chose the Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering as it’s equivalent to three A levels, and I wanted the UCAS points so I can do a university-level course.
How have you found your training as a young woman in engineering?
As a girl, people make a big deal out of it as there aren’t that many girls going into engineering, which is a real shame, but once you’re there, it’s fine!
Do you have any advice for other girls hoping to study Engineering?
If you’re keen enough there’s no reason not to apply for engineering whether you are male or female – it’s like a male hairdresser, it’s about skills. It’s only natural to feel nervous about stereotypes but that shouldn’t be a reason not to do something you love
What made you want to study at college?
The staff here focus on what you’re going to do next more than the staff at my school did, for example telling us about HNDs and apprenticeships. Employers come in to talk to us about careers and apprenticeships too. The facilities are good, for example the welding facilities are not something I’d have had at school.
What do you hope to do next? After the course, I’m considering applying for an apprenticeship to get some work experience, then a Higher National Diploma (HND) at Central. Eventually I plan to do a teaching qualification so I can teach in a college. Who knows, maybe I’ll take my tutor’s job!