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News: Meet the women at our Highfields Campus paving the way for future female engineers.

Sue Stack (centre) Mirveta Redzic (right) and Trish Spears (left)
Sue Stack (centre) Mirveta Redzic (right) and Trish Speirs (left)

Only 16% of engineers are female – our team are on a mission to change that!

In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, we’re proud to recognise the incredible staff and students at our Highfields Campus who are shaping the future of female engineers. Our teams are committed to enhancing the student experience, providing positive role models, and supporting our students in achieving their goals, being themselves, and pursuing their future careers with confidence.

Mirveta Redzic, Curriculum manager for Step into STEM.

As the Curriculum Manager for Step into STEM at Highfields, I am passionate about inspiring and empowering females to enter male-dominated industries like engineering. Our program provides foundational learning for those who lack the necessary entry requirements, offering practical, project-based experiences in various engineering fields. We aim to widen participation and raise aspirations by providing strong support systems, mentors, and role models. It’s essential for women to know they belong in these careers and that their gender should never limit their progress! I am committed to helping them take risks, seize opportunities, and achieve their goals. 

 — Mirveta Redzic, Curriculum manager for Step into STEM.
Trish Speirs, Electrical Engineering Lecturer

It’s amazing and important for me to be seen and heard in an industry where, unfortunately, we’re still the minority. I’d love to see more females enter engineering — there’s no reason why not with so many opportunities available. Building confidence is key. It’s often a barrier, but not for long. Sometimes it feels like you have to work twice as hard, but I’m here to build that confidence. My favourite thing is making a difference, showing learners they can achieve, they are capable, and they are here to succeed. My advice to females is to give it a try. The best way to discover how capable you are is to break out of your comfort zone. Know that if you come somewhere like here, you will be supported every step of the way.” 

 — Trish Spears, Electrical Engineering Lecturer
Sue Stack, Head of Student Experience.

My role is to ensure the student experience is the best it can be for everyone. It’s very important that our female students have everything they need from us to thrive in a traditionally male-dominated industry. For me, that’s empowering them to do whatever it is they want to do so that they have that confidence and know that there is always somebody behind them, helping to increase the profile of women in their subject areas. 

 — Sue Stack, Head of Student Experience.
Chelsea Eades, Maintenance Lecturer.

Demonstrating daily that this industry is accessible and breaking down the bigger picture into manageable steps is incredibly rewarding. I’ve been in the shoes our learners will find themselves in. With only 16% of engineers being women, we don’t sugarcoat the challenges, but we empower and build confidence, ensuring everyone knows they deserve a seat at the table. Being seen as a role model is an honour. Being a female engineering lecturer, I may not be what some of our students traditionally expect, but that connection, especially with female learners, is vital. I understand their additional barriers because I’ve faced them too and I strive to provide the support I wish I had during my learning journey. Seeing women in male-dominated areas on TV makes me proud to say I’m one of them. Everyone deserves to be represented in an industry where they don’t feel seen and heard, and that’s what I love most about my role. 

 — Chelsea Eades, Maintenance Lecturer.

What our students say!

Lexi Miller, T Level Electrical Engineering student

Engineering is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and it’s encouraging to see more girls entering the industry. I really want to help raise the profile of women in engineering because I think many are put off by the fear of being the only girl. I was nervous at first when I started here, but this place is so inspiring. My tutor, Trish, has really inspired and influenced me to do better. I didn’t expect there to be as many women working here as there are, and it’s fantastic to see so many women working hard to support us. It’s a great environment for aspiring female engineers.” 

 — Lexi Miller, T Level Electrical Engineering student
Evie Hawkins with her tutor Trish

I love the hands-on learning aspect of my course, which is why I chose to study engineering here. It was intimidating at first, but seeing women working here put me at ease and inspired me. Trish, my lecturer, inspires me the most. Watching her work on practicals and showing me how it’s done makes me believe that if she can do it, so can I. I want to be a domestic electrician. All the men in my family work in trade, and I thought, why not me? They inspired me to pursue this course, and I am determined to work in the industry too.” 

 — Evie Hawkins, T Level Electrical Engineering student.
Mil Easy (left)

I want to be an electrician, and my course at Highfields is helping me get there because I am learning so much. My advice to females looking to enter the industry is to not be scared. You are doing what you want to be doing and going after your own goals and career. Stay focused, be confident, and pursue your career. 

 — Mil Easy, T Level Electrical Engineering student.
Nicoletta David (left) T Level Electrical Engineering student.

I chose this course because it’s something different and not offered in many places. It’s been really fun and rewarding. Trish is one of my favourite role models; she shows me what it’s like to be a woman working in engineering and inspires me daily. This experience has helped me decide my future career goals, and I want to progress to university or a higher apprenticeship in construction. My advice to females wanting to enter the industry is to just do it — you won’t regret it. 

 — Nicoletta David, T Level Electrical Engineering student.

Find out more about our engineering courses!

If you enjoy figuring out how things work and have a curious mind, an engineering course could be just what you’re looking for. Our Engineering Centre of Excellence at Highfields Science Park offers large workshops with industry-standard equipment for a range of engineering disciplines as well as dedicated workshops for fabrication and welding training. 

Published on:
  • 21st June 2024 (4:29 PM)
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