Last week I held an event at my office called IGEday or “Introduce a girl to engineering day” (http://www.igeday.com/ ). The event is an initiative from the organisation “Womenengineer” and is held in many companies across Sweden once a year.
30 girls aged between 15-19 from 14 different schools in Gothenburg came to Sweco to learn about engineering and meet women in the industry. The aim of the event was to hopefully inspire them to take up a career in engineering in the future.
The morning started with a group activity where we discussed “norms” in society and overcoming gender stereotypes. We then had three presentations about exciting projects at Sweco including “Götalandsbanan” a new high speed rail link in Sweden, The European Spallation Source (ESS) research facility in Lund and a presentation about working as a consultant on smaller projects.
Following a fika (coffee and cakes) with women colleagues, there was a speed networking session in small groups. This gave the girls the chance to meet women engineers with different backgrounds and ask them questions about what they do and how they got to where they are today. We had representatives from all the different parts of the business at Sweco including structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, environmental and transport engineers.
It was fantastic to see so many interesting discussions especially in the speed-networking. I think the day was a great way for the girls to meet female role models in the engineering industry and realise all the possibilities out there for them in the future.