Drax Women of the Future Event Inspires New Career Paths for the Next Generation
DRAX showcased the broad range of career opportunities for young women across the business at its first Women of the Future event, part of the company’s continued efforts to encourage girls to study science, technology, engineering and maths to increase diversity in our workforce and support our communities.
Around 100 students aged 14 to 18 from Selby College, Holy Family Catholic High School in Carlton and Selby High School, spent the afternoon at the power plant in Yorkshire where female employees from Drax ran group activities, games and mini workshops at stands to illustrate the skills they use in their daily jobs.
At the event, the girls crowded around stands that highlighted careers in 10 different areas at Drax: Business Ethics, Viable Fuels & Sustainability, Facilities, Procurement, Engineering and Maintenance, Finance, Fuel & Logistics, Research & Innovation, Communications and IT. Community Engagement & Outreach and Human Resources, who organised the event, were also on hand to answer career questions.
Jess Williams, who is studying Mechanical Engineering at Selby College, said: “Talking to the female engineers made me realise how much there is on offer at Drax and it’s inspired me to apply for an apprenticeship here when I finish college and university. It was great to see how involved the women are in keeping the power station running.”
Ella Parsonag, who is a student at Selby High School, said: “I think it’s important as a woman to pursue careers in engineering. Such career paths aren’t popular at the moment and I would like to inspire more young women to become part of the engineering industry – there are good opportunities and the world will always need engineers.”
Rosie and Molly, students at Holy Family Catholic High School in Carlton, said it was important for women to get involved and push for the same opportunities as men.
“Just because we’re female doesn’t mean we’re any less entitled to get the job we want in the future,” said Rosie.
Alongside the Engineering department’s stand which had a model of how the power station works, the Finance team’s Drax monopoly board illustrated the value of making the right decisions. Research & Innovation’s Top Trumps game focused on evaluating new ideas and projects while Fuel and Logistics showed the steps needed to bring fuel for the power station from Canada and the US.
In the Drax boardroom looking out onto the power station’s cooling towers, the Business & Ethics team challenged the girls to identify the correct response to a hypothetical situation that could be potentially harmful to the company, such as corruption and bribery.
Back in the main room, the communications team helped the girls make their own videos to promote the company externally on social media.
Vicky Bullivant, Drax Group Head of Sustainable Business said: “We want to inspire the young women of tomorrow and show them the fantastic career opportunities at Drax for people from all backgrounds. Everyone benefits in a diverse and inclusive workplace – it brings new perspectives, ideas and approaches and helps strengthen the company and communities.
“Events like these and the many others we do throughout the year give us the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the communities we operate in.”
Drax has a long tradition of supporting educational initiatives and encouraging interest in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects (STEM) to help inspire the next generation of professionals.
Earlier this year, Drax invested £35,000 in the GreenPower initiative which helped pupils at seven local schools assemble electric vehicles from kits for a race in Hull in April. Drax employees also provided 160 hours of volunteer time to support the students involved in the project.