Bentley Motors celebrated International Women in Engineering Day by shining a light on its successful female engineers and encouraging young women to consider engineering as a future career.
Bentley recently held an open day for young girls from the company’s partner schools. Female manufacturing apprentices ran ‘Girls into Manufacturing’ and ‘Girls into Engineering’ sessions at the factory, giving pupils hands-on experience of what it’s like to be an engineer at Bentley.
Jemma Palmer, Talent and Recruitment Officer at Bentley, said: ‘We try to bring the factory to life, and the girls have the chance to ask the team about what they studied at school and how they got into the area of engineering they work in.”
From Aerodynamics to 3D Printing
Megan Aucott completed the Engineering Degree Apprenticeship at Bentley and now works as an engineer, producing life-size models of cars to ensure that new designs fit together before going into production. She explains: “The 3D printing area is really interesting and there is lots to learn. I work on the development of the full range of Bentley models so every day is different. At Bentley, there are always opportunities to learn more and in the future I plan to get more experience in other technical departments.”
Working alongside Megan is Gemma Rigby, who is on her gap year from Loughborough University where she studies design engineering. “When I came from university I didn’t expect the amount of responsibility and different projects that I’ve been given. I’ve really loved it. If someone had told me when I was doing my A Levels that I’d soon be looking after 3D printers at Bentley, I don’t think I’d have believed them,” commented Gemma.
Joanna Duraj, who is in her first year of an Engineering Degree Apprenticeship at Bentley, is currently enjoying her placement in the engineering workshop. “The best thing about my apprenticeship is that every day is totally different and I get to meet people from right across the business. Bentley puts trust in me and it’s great to work alongside experienced colleagues who are always willing to help,” explained Joanna.
To help celebrate the day, Gemma, Megan and Joanna have used their newly acquired skills to reproduce a 3D-printed model of the International Women in Engineering Day logo which will be used at future open day events.
Bentley trainees benefit from having a number of female engineers as role models. Jeni Wren started at Bentley in 2006 as a trim engineer following a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Liverpool University. Today, Jeni works as Interior Module Leader for the Bentley Bentayga and is responsible for problem solving in production areas and developing new models. She is keen to encourage the next generation of female engineers. “It’s great to be involved in these types of initiatives and to speak to young people about what opportunities a career in engineering can offer. It’s a rewarding job and I would recommend it to anyone that is interested in pursuing a future in engineering.”
International Women in Engineering Day
Observed annually on June 23, International Women in Engineering Day is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. It celebrates the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world.