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HETA backs Amy Johnson festival to inspire female engineers

5th April 2016

The exploits of Amy Johnson are being promoted 75 years after her death to inspire young women to pursue careers in engineering.

HETA has harnessed the interest in the Amy Johnson Festival to appeal to young women throughout the region and to show them how they can make their mark in a traditionally male environment.

The company is supporting the Festival by sponsoring a moth which will be painted with a picture of Amy with the message: "Amy Did It!” HETA will also purchase the moth at the end of the Festival for use in its future Girls Into Engineering campaigns.

HETA colleagues Charlotte Hogben and Lucy Jessop joined the Festival team for the unveiling of the blank moths and told how easy it was to select their design.

Charlotte said: 

We saw that one of the designs was called ‘Amy Did It’ and is based on the old land girls poster. It is a great fit with our campaign and a great inspirational message for women, particularly women in engineering.

The moth design will feature on HETA’s own promotional posters which will be distributed to schools across the Humber region. Female engineering staff, trainees and apprentices will also feature in the poster and a QR code will link to their stories on HETA’s website.

The company is also planning to host an Amy Johnson Festival Day in July when girls will be invited to HETA’s Hull centre at Copenhagen Road, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate to find out about engineering career options.

Lucy said:

Recruitment is going really well and we are getting more interest from girls as a result of our main poster campaign. We will run another poster competition in September.

Amy is interesting because she was an engineer and also because she followed her dream in something that was dominated by men. She just decided she could do anything she wanted and we don’t get that message into schools as much as we should.

Both Charlotte and Lucy also told of the difficulties they experienced in finding out about apprenticeships and engineering when they were at school.

Charlotte, who has been at HETA for nine years, said:

I was advised against doing an apprenticeship because I was getting A grades. I did one anyway but it was in customer service and administration.

Lucy, who has been with the company for nearly two years, said:

I didn’t really think about an engineering career. It was only when I started work at HETA that I realised it might have been possible. There were glamorous females in the workshop! I would have probably given it a go if I’d known about the opportunities when I was at school, maybe gone to a taster event to see if I enjoyed it. I would also have looked into apprenticeships.