30th November 2022


Leonardo, the Aerospace, Defence and Security company, partner with The Smallpeice Trust to inspire more young people into engineering. They support a wide range of activities including sponsoring the Girls into Engineering course, supporting STEM Days for local schools, and hosting STEM-focused family days. These activities help them develop their future engineering talent pipeline and nurture their existing talent through development opportunities such as leading projects on Girls into Engineering.

We caught up with Kris Harrison, Leonardo's Head of Systems Engineering, to discuss the relationship and how we're working together to get more young people into careers in engineering.

Creating a varied workforce

"When I started work as an engineer, I was often the only female in a room, and thankfully that has really changed since I first started, but the stereotype persists that engineers are men in hard hats. By working with The Smallpeice Trust, we're looking to show just how wide-ranging careers in engineering can be, and how varied the workforce can be too. The type of work done at a pharmaceuticals company is very different to that done at an electronics firm, and organisations like Leonardo need lots of people thinking differently and coming at problems from different perspectives to achieve their goals."

Sharing expertise

"I first met Gemma Murphy, Private Sector Partnerships Manager for the Trust at the IET Young Women of the Year; I had only just taken over Leonardo's STEM programme in Luton and I wanted to make it more diverse. Our expertise is in engineering and not in delivering STEM activities, so we needed someone who was an expert in that field, and it was clear The Smallpeice Trust fit that bill."

"What I really appreciate about the relationship is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

Opening doors into engineering

"When the Trust started Girls Into Engineering to provide a female only environment for budding engineers, we visited and soon after sent our own team of graduates and apprentices, and we've been involved ever since. We've also delivered STEM Days together, provided Think Kits to schools and collaborated on the Big Bang Fair and International Women in Engineering Day. Working with the team at the Trust means we've been able to try some new things, like running joint family events breaking down myths and stereotypes surrounding engineering as a career."

Working together

"What I really appreciate about the relationship is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. They are very collaborative and will always listen to our ideas, but also give their own and work hard to create solutions that work for us all, and most importantly that provide maximum benefit to young people. When the pandemic hit, the team at the Trust moved seamlessly into virtual delivery and that really made things a lot easier for us."

Hitting the right note

"My insight for any other organisations considering a partnership with The Smallpeice Trust is that they give you the scale to replicate STEM outreach efforts across the UK. What's more, nobody internal needs to take time out of their own schedule to run it, as the Trust know exactly what they're doing and pitch their events just right. A key point that can be easy for organisations to overlook is the safeguarding element, with the charity taking full responsibility for that, which is another thing you don't have to worry about."

Contact us now

The Smallpeice Trust runs engineering courses for young people from Years 8 to 12, across a variety of awesome subjects. If you're interested in learning more about how your organisation might work with us to help the next generation of engineers to realise their dreams, please get in touch today on


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