Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

2 March 2022

To celebrate Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on 24th February, we sat down with two inspiring women in STEM to discuss the importance of female representation and the power of role models to inspire more young women to consider engineering.

Rose Russell, Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Interviewer and STEM Class Coordinator:

“I am not an engineer, nor a scientist, but working in an all-girls school it is no secret that there are fewer women than men working in STEM. In 2016, I took part in the Project ENTHUSE Teacher work experience.  One of the main reasons I chose to apply was to get in touch with female role models in STEM. This project gave me the opportunity to develop real connections and build up a support network of incredible women. Since completing the project we have welcomed a number of these inspiring role models to our school to speak to our students. These role-models really help to inspire the next generation of STEM advocates, with many girls choosing to pursue STEM careers off the back of those visits. It only takes one opportune moment or emotional connection to change somebody’s outlook.

“There is a saying “You can’t be what you can’t see” and over the last 12 years, from personal experience, it comes down to relatable role models and showcasing them. It is critical that we are more entrepreneurial in our approach to providing girls with face-to-face interactions with positive female role models.  Alongside ongoing encouragement and support, for me this is proven to have the greatest impact.” 

Nash Vracas, Arkwright Engineering Scholarships Alumna:

“I’m a big fan of role models, because I know seeing a version of yourself can help a young person believe that they can pursue the same or a similar dream. Having said that, nearly all of my role models were men, who taught me that being a woman isn’t a reason to think I can’t achieve whatever I set my heart on. I believe it’s more important to nurture any spark that a child shows for a STEM subject. Supporting them into that dream will create passion, and passion creates success.

“There will be moments when you realise you are the only women in the room, but don’t think for one second that you don’t deserve to be there - you are there because of your capabilities and technical knowledge.”

It is so inspiring to see the increase in women in STEM and engineering related fields. However, more still needs to be done. The Arkwright Engineering Scholarships programme is part of The Smallpeice Trust - an education charity dedicated to making young people from all backgrounds aware of the possibilities within engineering.

With a number of The Smallpeice Trust summer courses being girls only, the ability to see peers their age interested in the same thing will help to enthuse the next generation of girls in engineering.

To learn more about The Smallpeice Trust engineering courses, including this year’s Girls into Engineering course, please visit: