24th April 2023

GE HealthCare and Leonardo working with The Smallpeice Trust to encourage more girls into engineering

With up to two million more engineers needed in the UK by 2025, we’re working hard to expand the talent pool by providing more opportunities for young people including those from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds. That’s why, we’re delighted to be working hard with many of the UK’s most innovative companies – such as GE HealthCare and Leonardo – to encourage more girls to study STEM subjects at school and beyond.

Leonardo is one of the UK's leading technology companies and a global player in Aerospace, Defence and Security. And GE HealthCare is a leading global medical technology, pharmaceutical diagnostics, and digital solutions innovator, dedicated to providing integrated solutions, services, and data analytics to make hospitals more efficient, clinicians more effective, therapies more precise, and patients healthier and happier.

Both companies support our flagship Girls Into Engineering course for 12-14 year olds which is designed to encourage and inspire girls to take their next steps towards an engineering career.

As part of the course, role models from Leonardo and GE HealthCare will lead the practical projects, giving the girls the chance to interact first-hand with real-life STEM professionals and gain valuable insights into what it takes to pursue a career in engineering.

Rachel Ruxton, UK Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Leonardo, added: Many girls have existing engineering abilities they aren’t aware of, so connecting them with hands-on STEM activities is a very important part of their journey of self-discovery. All too often, people from underrepresented communities don’t get enough access to these types of opportunities, so we are proud to be collaborating with The Smallpeice Trust to deliver these activities. We want to encourage more young people to explore the wide-ranging career choices that are available to them by studying STEM subjects. Engineers help shape the world in which we live and we believe greater representation drives creativity and innovation.”

Over the last academic year - 2021/22 - nearly 60,000 students were inspired to take part in our activities and of those, more than half were female and non-binary students – up from 45% last year. Our engineering courses, in particular, saw nearly 60% female and non-binary student participation, up from 50% the previous year.*

Through all our activities we are helping to encourage girls to continue their journey towards a STEM career. One of the key findings of recent research was that we need to engage between 1.4 million and 3.8 million people by 2027 to fill the estimated talent gap in Europe alone, - raising the number of women in the tech sector to 45%.**

Dr Kevin P Stenson, Chief Executive, The Smallpeice Trust said: “Addressing the shortfall of girls going on to study STEM subjects is crucial in helping to drive future innovation.

“The support we receive from GE HealthCare and Leonardo is fantastic. But there is still a significant lack of women working in STEM roles for various reasons and we’re working hard to address this with innovative and creative hands-on courses aimed at providing young females with a platform to both engage and ignite their interest in STEM careers.”

*  Figures quoted from The Smallpeice Trust Annual Report 2021/22

** Research quoted was conducted by McKinsey & Company


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