Twenty two year old Dionne Samuals spoke to female students at 7 city high schools at the Girls into Engineering event at Molineux Stadium. The day was part of Wolverhampton's Working Well Week - encouraging people of all ages to increase their skills, make the most of employment opportunities and lead healthier lives.
Dionne, who is also an ambitious athlete with top club Birchfield Harriers, graduated last year at Loughborough University with a degree in engineering. She was one of just 2 successful applicants from hundreds in the autumn for her design job at global construction equipment leader JCB.
"There is a perception that engineering is a dirty job done in overalls which isn't appealing to women - this couldn't be further from the truth," she said. "Engineering is creative and can cover a broad range of industries including medical, aerospace, automotive and technology. A career in engineering opens up all sorts of opportunities and it's stimulating because technology is ever growing and evolving. I would urge girls to find out more and build up your CVs - attending events like this is a great start. You can be successful but you need to be on top of your game. At my JCB assessment I was the only girl in a room full of boys which was quite intimidating. Four years ago I had no idea I'd get to where I am today."
The Girls into Engineering event was hosted by Wolverhampton City Council and supported by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership. Groups of students were asked to design a vehicle and goods transportation event as part of the challenge. They had to put together a marketing strategy and financial plan before selling their concept to a panel of local business representatives.
City economy leader Peter Bilson said: "Today's event was a great way to demonstrate to young people why engineering can be such a rewarding career for women. It is important for us to raise aspiration in the city - giving people the best start in employment and boosting our economy in the long term. Dionne is an inspiration as a former Wolverhampton student who is set to start a successful career with a global leader like JCB."
The full programme of Working Well Week events and activities is available to download at Type=links;Linkid=5921;Title=Working Well Week;Target=_blank;. People can also find out more from Type=links;Linkid=2165;Title=Wolverhampton Today;Target=_blank; or via Twitter using the hashtag #wolvesin2work.
- released: Thursday 26 March, 2015