Women engineers reveal personal histories and hurdles in inspiring new children’s eBook

A brand new eBook modelled on the popular ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’ has been created to mark International Women in Engineering Day on Wednesday 23 June 2021 and help inspire more young girls into careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

‘Five Stories from Five Inspiring Engineers’ tells the personal stories of five women engineers as a way of bringing this career choice to life for young girls aged between five and 10.

The book, which is the brainchild of recruitment agency, Rullion, was written by Alexia Saleem and illustratred by Jennifer Hayashi, and features two female engineers who work for regional water and wastewater firm, United Utilities.

United Utilities’ construction supervisor, Jenny Edge, from Rochdale, used to love pinching her Dad’s tool box and getting to work with a hammer. Jenny thinks there’s a misconception among a lot of girls and young women that engineering is a physical job but she says that it is predominantly about problem-solving.

Jenny explains: “I think if young girls were given better information about STEM jobs they’d be able to see behind some of the myths and realise that they’re just as capable of doing this type of work as a man.”

From a very young age, Dawn Buck, from Preston, a construction supervisor at United Utilities, loved taking things apart and building them up again. Although she wasn’t encouraged to pursue engineering at school, she eventually got her dream job and says any girl can be an engineer if she wants to and shouldn’t let the ‘world of grownups’ put her off.

Rullion’s Client Services Director Rachael Langton explains: “Despite growing evidence that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outreach can and does work, only 12 per cent of all UK engineers today are women. We want to be part of the solution to address this gender disparity and to encourage more young girls to consider a career in engineering.”

“If we are serious about solving the problem of gender equality in engineering, we need to concentrate less on searching harder for more women to recruit and more on making sure more girls aspire to become engineers in the first place. This is the only way to correct the gender imbalance in the long term.”

Langton, who has two young children herself, said the idea was for the eBook to read like “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”, which have been very popular over the years and are designed to address the gender imbalance in children’s literature and to serve as an encyclopaedia of real-world female success stories for young girls to draw inspiration from.

“We wanted to create our own version of ‘rebel girl’ stories based on who succeeded in the male dominated world of engineering and STEM in general,” added Rachael.

The eBook, is available as a free download from the Rullion website at https://info.rullion.co.uk/women-in-engineering.