Jaguar Land Rover has gone into the classroom to encourage more girls to become engineers. The result is a heart-warming video to mark International Women in Engineering Day.
Britain’s biggest car maker is committed to inspiring more girls into STEM subjects. Women currently make up 12.7 per cent of the company’s engineering workforce. The new video shows how gender attitudes are established at an early age – and how inspirational women can challenge them.
In the video a group of primary school children meet Charlotte Cooper, who tells them about engineering and asks them to draw a picture of an engineer.
All but one of the children draw a man, so they are very surprised to be told Charlotte is a Jaguar Land Rover engineer who worked on the Range Rover Sport SVR – the fastest and most powerful Land Rover yet.
Charlotte Cooper, Innovation Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, and a member of the company’s Women in Engineering & Allies Network said:
“It was such a delight to meet these youngsters and to show them the value of challenging their assumptions. My career in engineering has proved so rewarding, but I remain in a minority. I’m proud of the efforts of Jaguar Land Rover to redress this gender imbalance and I look forward to what the future holds for the engineering industry in the UK and around the world.”
Tackling gender bias requires early action, with school initiatives to encourage girls to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. For instance only 20 per cent of current A-level physics students are female.
Recent research by Women in Engineering found that just 25 per cent of girls aged 16-18 would consider a career in engineering, compared to 52 per cent of boys the same age. Currently only 11 per cent of British engineers are women.
Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, said:
“We hope to inspire the female engineers of tomorrow, because we believe that a diverse and inclusive team is essential for the creation of innovative, pioneering products that will meet the changing needs of our global customers."
"In order to truly provide equal opportunities we need to challenge traditional perceptions of STEM careers from a young age, which Charlotte Cooper does in our video by encouraging children to study science, technology, engineering and maths. We’re really excited to help celebrate International Women in Engineering Day and the great work the Women’s Engineering Society does to inspire the next generation of technically curious engineers.”
Elizabeth Donnelly, CEO at Women's Engineering Society, said:
“The Women’s Engineering Society is delighted that Jaguar Land Rover are celebrating International Women in Engineering Day by encouraging more girls into car design. Engineers are at the forefront of solving climate change, and the vehicles of the future will play a huge part in reducing global emissions. I can’t think of a more exciting time for girls to pursue a career in automotive engineering, or any type of engineering for that matter.”
Jaguar Land Rover runs education programmes to encourage more girls to choose STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and more students into engineering in general, including Furthering Futures – an immersive week-long programme where female students can learn more about automotive sector career opportunities and undertake work experience placements with inspirational Jaguar Land Rover female mentors. In 2018/19, we engaged with 149,743 young people through our global school STEM education programmes. In the UK last year 18,210 young people visited our Education Centres at our five main manufacturing and engineering sites to learn about Jaguar Land Rover and STEM career pathways.
Enhancing education, skills and wellbeing is one of our Responsible Business Imperatives and our education programmes aim to create and deliver educational projects that engage, nurture and inspire the next generation of talent we need in our business.
About Charlotte Cooper: An innovation lead in SVO for Jaguar Land Rover, after completing her masters in Product Design Engineering at Glasgow University, where she was one of just 20 women in a class of 200, she joined the car-maker’s graduate scheme in 2016. She is 27, an active member of the firm’s women in engineering network committee and works at the car maker’s site in Kenilworth, near Coventry.