WES Event Group 140324

Ricardo welcomes female apprentices for WES event

18 Mar 2024


Ricardo has hosted a female apprentice event, in partnership with the Women’s Engineering Society, designed to inspire, educate and encourage those in the early stages of their careers to build their networks, whilst provide insights and guidance on future development.  

The Engineer Your Future event gathered together female apprentices, from a wide range of companies, to hear from experienced female engineers about the challenges and opportunities of working in a male dominated environment. The event was designed to provide an opportunity for attendees to build new networks, take part in fun activities and share common experiences.  

Laura Kershaw, an apprentice at Ricardo, who is also the Vice Chair of the WES Apprentice Board, led the day, welcoming a group of around 35 female apprentices to Ricardo’s Shoreham Technical Centre (STC).  

During the day, guests heard from Laura about her career journey and how a love of creativity, art and engineering has taken her from working on film sets, on blockbuster special effects, to joining Ricardo to support clients with innovative engineering projects. They also heard from guest speakers Jo Rowe, Head of Operations for Performance Products at Ricardo about her career journey, including the opportunities and challenges she has faced and Claire Maycock, head of UK business development at IMechE, who discussed the importance of building effective networks and how they can support future career development.  

Rhiannon Chalmers-Brown, a senior consultant in Ricardo’s Clean Energy & Environment team delivered an interactive session on hydrogen and guests were also given a tour of some of the facilities at the STC, including the VERC and McLaren production line.  

The day was capped by a panel session, involving a Q&A, moderated by head of project management Helen Burbidge, involving Laura, project engineer Natalia Adamson and Jo.  

Speaking following the event, Laura said: “It was great to gather so many female apprentices together in one room to share experiences and talk about future career opportunities. Hearing from inspirational female engineers was really valuable, as it helps us all to realise that we have great prospects in this industry and that we can aspire to be those leaders of the future. Engineering is still a male dominated industry, but things are beginning to change, with more diversity being realised at all levels, which is a positive step in the right direction.

“One of the reasons I joined the WES Apprentice Board was so that I could be a positive influence to bring change to the industry, developing a different perspective and also encouraging the next generation by being a visible role model. I’d like to thank everyone who attended on the day and those that were involved either speaking, or with the event’s organisation. Events such as these really help to shine a light on the amazing work being undertaken by female engineers.”