On the 15th of November, 150 female students and 50 engineers (of both genders!) from across the UK converged to celebrate their shared passion of engineering and technology at Aston University during the sixth annual WES Student conference. Second only to the hosts, with 16 delegates, the University of Bath had a strong presence at the conference. This was partly thanks to the various departments in the Faculty of Engineering and Design that matched the sponsorships that were being awarded by WES Bath student group.
With ‘Engineering Inspiration’ as its motto, the conference aimed to create a dynamic environment that fosters career confidence amongst the attendees. This was accomplished through a number of panel discussions, talks and workshops that covered resources that every aspiring engineer needs in their toolkit, from roles models to career-life balancing strategies and self-awareness skills. Spanning across a number of different engineering sectors, corporations in attendance included Arup, Selex, PG and JLR to mention but a few. Not only did they advertise various opportunities available within their organisations, but they also supplied a number of early/mid career female engineers to share their experiences and provide insight into what it means to be a woman in engineering.
As one of the first student groups to be officially affiliated with WES, the WES Bath student group was given the opportunity to share the story of its journey as a means of inspiring other students to follow suit. The group chair, Mendy Mombeshora, gave a well-received talk that covered everything from the group’s inception to the activities that it has conducted so far. Following that, both the Mendy and the group secretary, Charlotte Thomas, were invited to attend a working group that featured members from other current and prospective student groups. The group was convened to discuss how WES could support student groups, the future students envisaged for affiliated groups and to provide a platform that allowed various groups to network and share their experiences.
Overall the conference proved to be a success for the University of Bath delegation, with individual students getting the opportunity to network and gain insights into their future careers and the WES Bath group forming links with other student groups from across the country and hopefully inspiring other students to form their own groups.
Chair of Student Women's Engineering Society, Bath