Mind the gender gap

FE institutions across the country should be using Betsy Crosbie as a role model to inspire more girls to pursue careers in engineering

Tes Editorial

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It is no news to anyone that the UK faces a skills shortage. So last week the government announced that 2018 would be the Year of Engineering.

Speaking to Tes at the announcement, skills minister Anne Milton said that closing the gender gap was of huge importance to her.

A lack of female role models is one of the barriers. One such role model is Betsy Crosbie (pictured). The college student from Lanarkshire, Scotland, was the only female competitor in mechanical engineering (CAD) at last year’s EuroSkills competitition and was awarded a Medallion of Excellence after her performance at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi this year.

A giant leap

Finally, at last weekend’s Skills Show in Birmingham, Betsy was awarded the Douglas Hill Award, for the greatest leap in skill and personal development.

When presented with her award, she said she was proud to promote opportunities for women in engineering. Betsy has turned her life around in a field few girls enter. So if Betsy’s phone is not ringing off the hook with invitations from FE institutions across the country, we have a much longer way to go on the way to closing the gender gap than I feared.


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