In a bid to challenge the construction industry gender gap, Topcon GB & Ireland recently joined forces with Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA) to inspire female students to consider a career in engineering.

The event took place at the school on the 6th January and welcomed successful, female industry professionals to discuss the benefits of a job in engineering. Through a series of talks they shared some of the highlights from their careers and what inspired them to take up a job in engineering.

Speaking at the event was Sofia Maria Angelara - signalling design engineer at WSP: Parsons Brinkerhoff; Jennifer Macdonald – BIM specialist at PCSG and lecturer in construction project management at the University of Technology Sydney; and Lara Smith – project manager at the Environment Agency.   

Kathryn Bell is the head of design and technology at ESLA and coordinated the Engineering Day: “We’ve had such a fantastic response since the event, with many of our female students actively wanting to know more about engineering careers - we’ve even had parents thanking us for inspiring their daughters about these opportunities.

“It’s really encouraging to see young people so excited about the possibilities engineering careers can bring, and just shows the difference we can make as an industry simply by working directly with schools.”

Topcon has been supporting ESLA since 2015 as part of Class of Your Own’s (COYO) Adopt a School™ scheme. It is now the third school that Topcon has adopted since it first partnered with COYO in 2012. The initiative was developed to address the serious lack of young British talent in the built environment. With the help of Topcon, ESLA has been able to embrace technical and professional education for its students.

“Encouraging more women to consider engineering professions is really important”, said David Bennett, business manager at Topcon. “With eight times more men than women applying for jobs in the construction industry, and an on-going skills shortage in the UK, it’s a critical time for the built environment.

“We need to do all we can as an industry to educate the younger generation about the opportunities that are available to them. Working with female role models will no doubt encourage more females to consider engineering as a profession in the future.”

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