Girls’ Day 2011: Bombardier Transportation opens doors to provide 12-16 year old girls with exciting insight into rail industry
For many years BT has invited young girls to visit production sites, providing them insight into professions like welders, painters, electronic and mechanical engineers – in a nutshell: professions that continue to have the reputation of being typical men’s domains.
In April this year, BT welcomed approximately 60 girls at various production sites in different European countries (Mannheim, Kassel and Aachen in Germany, Vienna in Austria, Zurich in Switzerland). In small groups the girls had the opportunity to visit the production site and get a first idea about the variety of job opportunities in the rail industry.
Depending on the area of specification at each site they had the chance to experience a climatic wind tunnel where vehicles are being tested under extreme climatic conditions (Vienna). Other groups visited the power lab (Zurich) and also got some practical experience by soldering a circuit board, doing a welding exercise or by spending a thrilling moment in a train ride simulator (Aachen, Kassel, Mannheim).
Following the company presentation the girls spent some time with technical experts so that all questions coming up during the site visit and practical experience could be answered. Needless to say that the opportunity to having a discussion with apprentices was highly appreciated as they were proud to share their first professional experience and challenges in their daily job.
“We want to show the girls that working in rail industry does not require muscles”, says Karin Schwarz, Head of Marketing Communications, LRV, Vienna. Susanne Lindemaier, responsible for apprenticeships at Mannheim site adds: “Our intention is to familiarise girls with a technical environment and to provide them with first insight into a company”.
The Girls’ Day (also called Future Prospect for Girls) initiative was launched in Europe in 2001, following the US American example of “Taking-Our-Daughters-To-Work-Day”. Today, it is in place in 11 European countries.