Equality in STEM – Maddy Pennock

 

What is your current role?

My current role within LBBC Technologies is Apprentice Mechanical Design Engineer.

What does that involve, look like on a day-to-day basis?

On a day-to-day basis I would with cad software such as Solidworks and AutoCAD, these are 3D and 2D design programs. I use these to create models and drawings that are then issued to our suppliers to be manufactured from.

How did you get started working in STEM?

When I was studying in school, I had no idea where I wanted to end up. In school we had a careers adviser, I knew my strongest subject were maths and science, so she pointed me to an engineering college called Appris who could help to find me an apprenticeship. I then came for a two-day trial at LBBC doing Mechanical Design and decided very quickly I didn’t want to work anywhere else.

What qualifications did you take or gain along the way?

In school I achieved 7’s in maths and science (equivalent to an A) at GCSE level, I then went to Appris where I achieved my level 2 and 3 diploma in advanced manufacturing engineering and I’m currently studying to achieve my level 4 (HNC)

Why do you love working in STEM?

When I first started my apprenticeship I had little to no clue about engineering, however what I love the most is all of the learning I am able to do. LBBC gives me loads of opportunities to learn and grown my engineering knowledge, through training session, site visits, and on the job learning. I love to look back and see how far I’ve come from when I started to now.

What challenges have you faced in your career? And how have you overcome them?

I have dyslexia, which mainly effects my reading and writing. Hence why I chose a more math and science based role. However, since starting my apprenticeship I can see how much I have improved my English skills. Everyone around me has worked really hard to help me improve my essay writing so that I can pass through courses, and is willing to check over my work to make sure it reads well, and give me advise on where it can be improved.

What advice would you offer for someone joining the STEM sectors?

I would recommend going through an apprenticeship route. By learning and earning at the same time you are jumping into the world of work, while still gaining the knowledge and experience that I needed within the role. I can’t recommend it enough!

What do we need to do as an industry to attract and keep more women in STEM?

I think we needed to change the stereotype that STEM is a ‘mans world’ from a younger age. I know that throughout my younger school years I thought STEM was for men and beauty was for woman, however this perception needs to be change so that when young teens are deciding the subjects, they don’t have the fear of being the ‘odd one out’.

Editorial: Note, the article, including images, are approved for use by equalityinstem.org.uk

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