Racing ace Button says time to get women engineers in the fast lane
23 Jul 2019
Formula 1 driver Jenson Button has used his public profile to support Santander UK’s inaugural STEMships programme, designed to support the country’s female undergraduate engineers.
Some 30 women students will start a two-year support programme providing a £1,500 scholarship, overseas experience at a leading engineering institution; networking events with prominent female leaders, membership to the Women’s Engineering Society, plus mentorship and internship.
Scheme ambassador Button who attended the announcement ceremony with recipients said: “Getting more women into engineering is vital for the future of the industry so I’m really pleased to be supporting the launch of the Santander Universities STEMships programme.
"I’ve worked with amazing female engineers in my career, but we need many more to enter the field if the UK is to continue to be a leader on the world stage,” he told the audience.
Research by the firm’s Santander Universities arm focused on a number of obstacles cited by female students considering engineering as a degree and a career.
I’ve worked with amazing female engineers in my career, but we need many more to enter the field if the UK is to continue to be a leader on the world stage
Among the factors were degree funding, lack of support organisations and a lack of role models. Previously, the Women’s Engineering Society reported that just 12.37% of all engineers in the UK are female.
Director of Santander Universities UK Matt Hutnell commented: “We’re thrilled to be launching our unique STEMships to support and inspire the next generation of women engineers from across the UK.
“Having worked closely with Formula Student teams across our partner universities, we recognise the challenges facing female engineering students as they look to embark on careers in the industry. We hope the programme will support them with their career ambitions.”
NEWS: The utilities industry is in the top quartile for inclusion of women on executive committees and as executive directors at board level, says the Women Count report published annually by The Pipeline.
Women now account for a quarter of executive committee members – up from 18% the previous year. The percentage of women executive directors on boards rose from 13% in 2018 to 22% this year.
However, the representation of women in profit and loss roles remains low says the report. Overall for all sectors it reveals that the number of FTSE350 companies with female CEOs has reduced to 3.7% - compared to 4.6% in 2017.