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PRESS RELEASE For immediate release 19 October 2011 WISE EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR FEMALE ENGINEER A Mechanical Project Engineer working at Sellafield Ltd has won a prestigious national award for her work inspiring young women into engineering. Claire Jones was presented the award by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at a prestigious awards ceremony on Wednesday 19 October at London’s Institute of Engineering and Technology. She also received a cheque for £1,000. The WISE (Women into Science, Engineering and Construction) Awards, in association with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, EADS, celebrate those who inspire young women into the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The WISE Excellence Award was open to women working in the early stages of their career who demonstrate a high level of commitment to the profession and to the promotion of science, engineering, technology and construction. Claire graduated in Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University in 2006 and has since worked in Germany and Belgium before her work at Sellafield. In 2009, she set up an young engineer’s panel in West Cumbria to organise events for young members of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). In May 2011, she became Chair of the IMechE Young Members’ Board, representing over 65,000 young engineers across the globe. As well as promoting STEM careers for young women in her local area of Cumbria, Claire is currently setting up a relationship with the UN technical college in the Gaza Strip to help educate female students via email and video conferencing. Tony Gill, Chief Executive at Cumbria STEM Centre Ltd. who nominated Claire, said: “As a STEM Ambassador Claire uses her own high level of enthusiasm to show other young women the potential for rewarding and worthwhile careers within STEM based industries.” A spokesperson from Thales UK, which sponsored the WISE Excellence Award, said: “Thales supports The WISE Campaign because it is important to help girls and young women understand that engineering can be stimulating and satisfying as a career. Thales is very pleased to support the Excellence Award to recognise the achievements of those going out of their way to encourage the next generation of women into science, engineering and construction.” Jane Butcher, Director of The UKRC, said: “The WISE Awards are an annual celebration of endeavour, inspiration and commitment – and this year more than ever. A record number of entrants of outstanding quality have demonstrated the importance of working creatively to inspire, advise and enable girls and young women to study and pursue careers in science, engineering and technology. “The 2011 WISE Awards highlight what can be achieved.” Ends For all media enquiries please contact Ann Chadwick at Cicada Communications, Ann@cicada-comms.com 01423 567111. Notes to Editors About WISE What we do: WISE - Women into Science, Engineering and Construction - works with industry and education to inspire girls and attract them into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers. The WISE Campaign has developed a range of resources to inspire and inform girls and young women, and their teachers, parents and other advisers. We have experience of working with employers to help them set up successful outreach days and work experience packages. We have expertise in communications, engagement and challenging stereotypes. We welcome positive collaborations with a wide range of organisations and institutions committed to building gender equality in STEM. Why we do it: When girls don't think they are welcome in subjects like physics, engineering, construction and IT, it means that some of the brightest minds and best skills are lost to these employment sectors. Despite girls interest and success in science and maths at GCSE, there is evidence that girls still feel unwelcome in these knowledge-based sectors: 'they can do it, but wouldn't want to be it.' How we do it We work in partnership with industry and education, bringing the perspective of girls to their activities. Most girls cannot be influenced into non-traditional careers through one glossy leaflet at age 14. Engaging their hearts and minds needs, long term, to counter the widespread stereotypes many experience from their peers and parents, schools and the media. We do this by listening to girls, understanding their concerns and ensuring other organisations and policy-makers hear their voices. We work creatively with delivery agencies, offering models, tools and ideas to help them challenge traditional approaches and demonstrate equal involvement for girls. There are individual WISE committees in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, to cater for the specific needs of girls and women in these regions. The WISE Awards The WISE Awards were held on 19 October 2011 1:00pm - 5:00pm at The Institution of Engineering and Technology, in central London. The WISE Awards in association with EADS are a unique annual event, a special opportunity to recognise inspiring organisations and individuals actively addressing the core concerns of WISE: promoting science, engineering and construction to girls and young women. The Awards The WISE Advisor Award was open to career advisors, teachers, ambassadors, mentors and educators who have motivated and enthused girls and young women to pursue STEM related subjects. The winner received an engraved plaque. The WISE Excellence Award was open to women who are working in the early stages of their SET (science, engineering, technology and construction) career. The winner received a cheque for £1,000 and an engraved plaque. The WISE Champion Award was open to schools, industry, universities, colleges, charities and professional bodies who have taken steps to actively address the WISE mission to encourage girls and young women in to STEM education and related careers. The winner received an engraved plaque. About the UKRC The UKRC is the lead organisation for the provision of advice, services and policy consultation regarding the under-representation of women in science, engineering, technology and the built environment (SET). The UKRC work with employers; professional bodies; education institutions; women's organisations and networks; policy institutes; sector skills councils; the government and many others to promote gender equality in SET. The UKRC is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and through other funding sources. About STEM STEM stands for: •Science •Technology •Engineering •Mathematics STEM includes these key individual subjects as well as the STEM-based skills needed in a wide range of subjects across the learning and skills sector, from numeracy to construction. The government’s STEM agenda aims to: •provide employers with the workforce that has the skills they need •help to maintain the UK’s global competitiveness •make the UK a world leader in STEM-based research and development. By engaging effectively with STEM you can increase the opportunities open to your learners.
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