North East Scotland College

North East Scotland College


Posted on 10, Dec 2012

To encourage more young women to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), Shell and Banff & Buchan College in Scotland have engaged in a successful programme called ‘Girls in Energy’. The programme is an introductory course for female pupils at the college, aged 14-16, who are interested in exploring a career in the Energy Industry. The programme is very hands on and gives the girls opportunities to learn techniques and skills that would be used in the industry.

The aim of the course is to open female high school students’ eyes to the variety of professions and career opportunities that exist within the Energy industry and challenge any stereotypes that they may have about engineering careers being just for men.  Research has found that girls in this age group weren’t choosing science and math subjects for A-levels as much as boys; this programme hopes to change this trend.

As part of the programme, nine students from Mintlaw Academy in the North-East of Scotland travelled to Shell Centre in London to give a presentation about their experiences on the course which included a two week placement at the Shell Upstream office in Aberdeen. Their audience included senior Shell leaders and pupils from the Notre Dame Girls School in Southwark who came to learn more about careers in the energy industry.

During the presentation, the girls said they ‘were grateful to have been given such a brilliant opportunity.’  As a direct result of the programme, many of the students had changed their minds about their career paths. One pupil said she’d previously wanted to be a hairdresser but she was now focused on training as a mechanical engineer.

John MacArthur, Vice President CO2 Policy for Shell, said he was thoroughly impressed by the girls’ presentation. “It is encouraging to see young people excited and fascinated by their first experiences in the energy industry. We must keep up this momentum with present and future participants on this course because they are our next generation of talented Shell professionals.”

Following the girls’ presentation, three senior Shell females with STEM backgrounds shared insights into their own experiences as women working in the oil and gas industry. These inspirational talks gave the girls confidence that they too could follow in their footsteps.

Girls in Energy has been so successful that Shell is looking to expand the programme.



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