Engaging women within BME
The aim of this project was to encourage and support women from the BME population in East Lancashire to undertake higher education programmes in engineering disciplines and be aware of the career opportunities which may be open to them within this sector. In Lancashire there are currently skills gaps and shortages within the engineering profession, with many companies reporting hard-to-fill vacancies. Whilst there are many BME females undertaking education within the region there are very few who are studying engineering courses and going into engineering-related careers. The main achievements were the development of an Introduction to Engineering module targeted at this group, the development of a targeted marketing campaign and resources and the establishment of a mentoring system for this group of students with local engineering companies. We reviewed our learning environment/teaching practices and identified best practice and gender inclusion tools and provided training to our academic and admissions staff to ensure that they have an understanding of cultural awareness and the influences which are barriers to this group engaging in engineering subjects.