A Cardiff University student has been accepted onto a prestigious national engineering programme aimed at furthering the careers and opportunities for female engineers. Eva Roke, a fourth year student studying at the School of Engineering, was one of only 30 people in the UK to be accepted on to the Santander Universities STEMships initiative.
Santander Universities’ inaugural STEMships programme aims to break down the barriers for women entering the engineering industry by providing aspiring female engineer students with the dedicated tools, resources and opportunities needed to succeed in the industry post university.
As part of the initiative, Roke will embark on a two-year support programme which offers: a £1,500 scholarship; an overseas experience at a leading engineering institution; unique networking events with prominent female leaders in the industry; membership to the Women’s Engineering Society; and mentorship and internship schemes through Santander’s wider networks.
Roke received the news during a special event at Silverstone this weekend, where former F1 World Champion Jenson Button took part in a panel discussion alongside Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Holford on the topic of women in engineering and how to cultivate the next generation of female engineering talent.
During the discussion Jenson said that a female Formula One World Championship driver would “revolutionise” the sport, and that a woman lining up on the grid alongside the men would inspire a new wave of racing fans and encourage more women to get involved in motorsport.
Commenting on her acceptance into the programme, Roke said: “I am grateful to Santander Universities for this opportunity and am excited to get involved in the programme, to meet other young female engineers as well as prominent figures in the industry. I hope to make full use of this platform to further the work I do inspiring the next generation of young females to pursue learning and careers in STEM.”
Professor Karen Holford said: “Although a recent report revealed that just 12% of all engineers in the UK are female, there is actually a really positive uplift among young women – 26% of our first year engineers at Cardiff University are female. It is still vital that we continue to champion the field of engineering and show what a fantastic career choice it can be for everyone.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Eva has been accepted on to the STEMships programme. She is an extremely talented and hard-working student and I’m sure she will benefit greatly from this exciting opportunity.”
Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK commented: “We’re thrilled to be launching our unique STEMships to support and inspire the next generation of women engineers from across the UK. Having worked closely with Formula Student teams across our partner universities, we recognise the challenges facing female engineering students as they look to embark on careers in the industry. We hope the programme will support them with their career ambitions.”