61% of schoolgirls want to see more female engineering role models according to new research to mark International Women in Engineering Day

Plan International and McLaren Automotive celebrate one year of global partnership and hold the first workshop for girls and boys as part of the pledge to reach 1,000 girls by 2025

McLaren Automotive and children’s rights charity Plan International commissioned a study to coincide with International Women in Engineering Day. With an aim to highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering, and maths-based (STEM) careers for girls.

The study revealed that 75 per cent of schoolgirls are interested in a STEM career yet over 27 per cent said they worry about being good enough to study STEM subjects. The research also found that 61 per cent of schoolgirls say they want to see more female role models in engineering to encourage them to take up science-based careers.

The research was released as 14-year-old Plan International youth activist and STEM enthusiast, Amelie, unveiled the design of the McLaren Artura hybrid supercar at the McLaren Technology Centre. 

The design has been created to celebrate one year of McLaren’s partnership with the charity and goes on display at the McLaren stand across all four days of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which starts today.

Amelie was joined by materials scientist Ella Podmore, who worked on the Artura, and senior McLaren designer Max Shkinder, who created the one-off colour scheme.

“Plan International’s partnership with McLaren is doing a really good job of tackling career stereotypes, making it clear that science-based subjects can be interesting for all young people and showing how gender stereotypes about studying STEM subjects are wrong,” says Amelie, Plan International UK youth activist.

McLaren has pledged to hold educational, skills-based workshops for 1,000 girls by 2025 to help create more opportunities for them to take up STEM careers.

The first of these workshops was jointly delivered with Plan International last week at McLaren, with Ella Podmore MBE on hand to give the attendees from local schools her perspective on what it is like as a woman in an automotive career. Students were also put through their paces with a range of exercises with McLaren engineers and designers to test their aptitude and hone their skills.

Mandeep Dhatt, Executive Director of HR, McLaren Automotive said, “The jointly commissioned study shows that we have no room for complacency in smashing negative and persistent gender stereotypes that can hold our young people back.”

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