To celebrate International Women in Engineering 2017, the James Dyson Foundation invited a group of local female students to meet Dyson engineers and learn about different engineering career paths.

The local students first heard from a group of female Dyson engineers who spoke about what they do on a daily basis at work, why they enjoy their jobs and what inspired them to choose a career in engineering. In the afternoon, the students were challenged to develop their own design solution and build prototypes which they presented to Dyson people in a design exhibition.

Feedback from the day was extremely positive. The girls left the day with an understanding of what it means to be an engineer in the 21st century and how many opportunities that are available to them, from electronics and research to design and material engineering.

Maya, 14, from Ralph Allen School, says: “I like to create things, and I like to help people. I want to do both at the same time. My experiences at Dyson definitely inspired me to study STEM subjects further. We’re not told it but we think that boys are the people that make everything happen but they’re not, we can be just as good as boys.”

Mariella, 14, from Hayesfield Girls’ School, says: “I really enjoyed the day. It was interesting to see what goes on at Dyson – normally you only get to see the products, you don’t get to think about how they’re developed. I talked to the engineers and one of them had done the same subject options as me, so it was nice to know it’s definitely possible for me to be an engineer. I think it would be quite nice in 10 years’ time to work somewhere like Dyson.”

International Women in Engineering Day, set up by the Women’s Engineering Society, is an annual and international awareness day to raise the profile of females in the engineering sector. The day focuses on the achievements of female engineers, engineering opportunities and aims to inspire students to consider the industry as a career choice.