Lowestoft woman wins top engineering award

SUCCESS: Helen Cavill, left, collects her award from science journalist Sarah Cruddas.

SUCCESS: Helen Cavill, left, collects her award from science journalist Sarah Cruddas. - Credit: Archant

A woman from Lowestoft has encouraged more young people to think about a career in engineering after she scooped a top industry prize.

Helen Cavill, 31, has been recognised as an inspiration to the future generation of female engineers as she was awarded Young Woman Engineer of the Year at a ceremony run by the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The awards were held to celebrate the most successful female engineers, encouraging them to become role models to inspire more girls into the industry and help to address the gender imbalance in engineering and science.

Recent statistics from the IET's Skills and Demand in Industry survey showed that women represent only nine per cent of the engineering workforce.

Ms Cavill, who has worked at M&H Plastics in Beccles for over six years, said: 'It's a great honour and privilege to have won – it's wonderful to get national recognition for my work.

'Now the awards are over, it is important to make an impact on young people making career choices.

'I am proud to be a female engineer and I do not think that my gender has held me back in my career.

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'In my opinion, gender is irrelevant when discussing what makes a good engineer – everyone has different skills and qualities.

'I think the great shame is that there are children of any gender who dismiss the idea of engineering as a career because they are given false stereotypes and poor information.

'If every child was exposed to what engineering was really like by the age of 11 or 12, I think a lot more children would consider engineering as a career.'

Speaking about Ms Cavill, Dawn Bonfield, chief executive officer at the Women's Engineering Society (WES), said: 'She is a fantastic role model and has already done a huge amount towards inspiring the next generation of engineers and showing the amazing careers that are out there. We are very much looking forward to working with Helen over the coming year as our ambassador.'

? Do you have a Lowestoft story? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk