WIA-E UK briefing on event “Filling the skills gap in Scottish Aerospace: does gender matter?”
On Monday 4 March, Astrosat, a Scottish based organisation who provide data visualistaion through space technology, sponsored the first Scottish WIA-E UK division event in Scotland, focusing on filling the skills gap in Scottish aerospace, and the gender imbalance that currently exists in this sector.
Liz Seward, WIA-E UK Chair, welcomed guests and panellist from the Scottish community, giving some interesting statistics on women in the aerospace industry in the UK, and how this reduces as their careers progress. Why do women not stay in this industry? Peter Young, representing Astroscale also welcomed guests, and then joined the other panellist who included; Patrick Harness (University of Glasgow), Eike Raielo (Bird-i), Ellie Ebrahimi (Spire) and Pam Anderson (University of Strathclyde and ESA Business Incubation Centre).
Panellist gave a quick introduction and then answered questions from the audience and Chair regarding gender balance in Scotland and the UK; the ongoing lack of women in senior aerospace positions; STEM education, how can we get more girls to be interested in STEM subjects; educating teachers to advise of the opportunities available to all children, and getting girls and boys interested in space at an early age, demonstrating the array of job opportunities that are available to them. It was evident that panellist and those who grew up treated as equals to boys had much more confidence in their career paths, eg mainly those who attended single sex schools or educated abroad.
The Q&A session lasted around 45 minutes, then guests and panellist were able to network and ask questions in a less formal way, with refreshments and nibbles provided by Astrosat. Around 35 people attended the event and all were very keen for further events to take place in Scotland in the near future.
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