Navy helps nurture budding female engineers aboard HMS Bulwark

Around 150 female students visited assault ship HMS Bulwark for a day showcasing engineering jobs open to them.

Schoolgirls and students aged 16 to 24 converged on the former flagship for a Women in Engineering showcase event – one of many similar events being hosted by the RN across the UK to sweep away stereotypes, counteract misconceptions and highlight opportunities in the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (aka STEM).

Those attending heard guest speakers, got to grips with leading engineering technology and met representatives of STEM organisations and professional institutions, not to mention chatting with the ship’s company about a career in the RN.

“In the UK there is a national shortage of engineers and of those engineers, the percentage who are female is very low,” said Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer) Gemma Flowers, the event’s organiser.

“For the Royal Navy, in conjunction with Babcock Marine, to be able run an event such as today’s Women in Engineering showcase, it will hopefully increase the exposure of careers in engineering and STEM to young women.”

For the Royal Navy to be able run an event such as today’s Women in Engineering showcase, it will hopefully increase the exposure of careers in engineering and STEM to young women

Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer) Gemma Flowers

The ship’s Executive Warrant Officer, Chief Petty Officer Phil Gibson, added, “HMS Bulwark is proud to host events such as these.

“We hope that in hosting these events, the exposure that they bring will encourage more women to consider engineering as a career.”

HMS Bulwark, currently in extended readiness, is often used as an engineering training ship allowing junior RN and RM engineers and officers, as well as Babcock and MOD apprentices, to get hands-on practical engineering experience on a warship.

As part of the Year of Engineering, the Royal Navy have been actively promoting and sponsoring STEM events up and down the country to assist with the national shortage of engineers and encouraging school children to take a closer look at engineering careers.