CrossCountry and The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) have supported a local Derby photographer to showcase her ‘Women Engineers – portraits of the changing face of engineering’ project.
The exhibition, which opened on Monday (3 February) at the University of Derby, challenges the stereotypes of what an engineer looks like and will also run as part of International Women’s Day celebrations (8 March).
Derbyshire photographer Geraldine Curtis explains: “It all started with a chance conversation I had with a group of female engineers. They explained that in the UK less than 13% of all engineers are female. It led me to question why so few women take it up as a career.”
“It struck me that there are too few visible role models for women in engineering. Women in the field have such a low profile. There is a real risk that girls simply don’t believe that it is a career in which they would be welcome, or that they could thrive. I felt that really ought to be addressed”.
The two-year project, which involved Geraldine travelling via train to meet her subjects for the photographs, saw her talk to engineers from many industries across the UK.
Tom Joyner, CrossCountry Managing Director added: “CrossCountry is excited to be supporting Geraldine with this project. Britain’s rail industry works hard to increase diversity in its workforce and we hope this exhibition, which showcases the growing number of female engineers, will encourage and inspire others to pursue a career in rail.”
The exhibition comprises twenty portraits of female engineers. All of the engineers are STEM Ambassadors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and regularly volunteer to visit schools and colleges to talk about exciting opportunities in engineering.
The free exhibition will run until 23 March at Markeaton Campus, and is sponsored by CrossCountry Trains.