The WEST Fund was established in memory of Ros Wall who was instrumental in setting up a range of local and national projects to encourage women and girls to take up careers in non-traditional roles in Science, Engineering, Technology and the Built Environment. WEST is a voluntary organisation based in Sheffield and run by a group of trustees who have been involved in this area since the 1980s. Every year WEST makes small bursaries to offer practical support to women and girls who are learning or working in a non-traditional role or would like to do start to do this. For the last five years the bursary money has been raised through an annual film night. In 2013 WEST received funds to develop outreach work. It is now working with three partners and other organisations to encourage girls and women in Sheffield to get involved in subjects and careers that they might not usually consider.
Thanks to the group of 12 women interested in finding out more about becoming an electrician who attended our free taster day at Sheffield College this week. We set it up to coincide with National Women in Engineering Day.
The women gained insight into the sector, and had a go at practical sessions involving wiring a 2-way lighting circuit.
Award-winning Sheffield based spark Mandy Reynolds told the women about her experiences in the industry.
“It was great to see the enthusiasm being shown and evidence that there is a real genuine interest from women to get involved in electrical work,” she said. “Traditionally, women might not have been given the opportunity or advice about a trade as a career. Open days like these really help give women an insight into what work is involved and the steps that need to be taken to get the right qualifications and experience.”
We are currently trying to find ways to encourage women to study as electricians, including potentially reduced fees and bursaries. This year, NICEIC is kindly offering bursaries to women wanting to study for a career in the electrical industry.
If you are interested in finding out about training courses at The Sheffield College this September, please get in touch with Liz before July 10.
WiCAT (Women in Construction Arts and Technology) is based at the Women’s Construction Centre in Burngreave, Sheffield. It runs volunteer and training days for women in a variety of trades and skills that they don’t usually have access to.
The Women’s Furniture Making Workshop offers full time and part time courses in furniture making, joinery and DIY. Classes are taught by women lecturers, and some sessions are for girls and women only.