The two-part networking session, hosted by training and consultancy specialists Cool Concerns in Tewkesbury, began with a practical event enabling non-technical staff to gain a hands-on understanding of refrigerant handling and brazing. This was followed by an interactive career development workshop with handy tips on career management and planning.
The workshop received excellent support from the industry with many organisations becoming sponsors and sending delegates to the sold-out event. HRP, Space Engineering, Carbon Data Resources, Bitzer UK, Fujitsu, Star Refrigeration, Adande Refrigeration and Daikin UK were all represented.
Miriam Rodway, CEO, Institute of Refrigeration, said: “Our industry is currently facing a skills shortage and it's never been more important to encourage women to choose a career in refrigeration and air conditioning engineering.”
According to the Women’s Engineering Society, there is now very little gender difference in take-up and achievement in core Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) GCSE subjects, yet only 9% of the engineering workforce is female, meaning that there is a large skill pool currently untapped.
Samantha Buckell, PA to the Managing Director, Bitzer UK, said: “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to take part in a practical session as this has given me a better understanding of how our industry works and I’ve made some fantastic contacts working in the various RACHP sectors.”
Another participant, Catarina Marques, Engineering Manager, Adande, said: “I felt it was a great idea to have a two-part day as technical knowledge and career planning are both incremental parts of a successful career path.”
The IOR is planning further events for Women in RACHP and has an active RACHP network with a LinkedIn Group that is open for all to join.
Attending the event were:
Elizabeth Dunlop, Kat Hill, Sam Parris, Alice Thornton and Hayley Webb (all HRP), Emily Fagence and Cat Whiting (both Space Engineering), Carole Bond (Carbon Data Resources), Sam Buckell (Bitzer UK), Kelly Bullivant (Fujitsu), Fern Dane (Star Refrigeration), Catarina Marques (Adande Refrigeration), Karen Perry (Daikin UK), Lisa Waters (IOR) and Imogen Soper, along with Jane Gartshore, Stephen Benton and Alan Snelling from Cool Concerns.
For the full events listing and new event announcements, visit the IOR dedicated web page.