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School pupils visit the RNLI for National Women in Engineering Day

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI celebrated National Women in Engineering Day on 23 June with an event at its headquarters in Poole for young women from five local schools.

With women currently making up less than 10% of the engineering sector, the event aimed to inspire students from the Purbecks, Poole, Christchurch and Bournemouth areas to make a difference in the world by pursuing a career in engineering.

Pupils had the opportunity to meet and quiz female engineers from the RNLI, Claire Fletcher and Hannah Nobbs, who discussed the different roles they play in saving lives at sea. Alongside these RNLI engineers, students also heard from Beth Gill from Survitec who helped design the new lifejackets worn by RNLI lifeboat crew.

During the event the students were given innovation challenges and taken on a tour of the All-weather Lifeboat Centre where the RNLI builds and maintains its state-of-the-art 25 knot all-weather lifeboats.

Event organiser, Julia Bullas, said: ‘Women currently make up less than 10% of the engineering sector and with figures showing a large forthcoming skills gap, now is a critical time to encourage girls to choose a career in the industry.

‘With our engineering expertise, the RNLI is in a privileged position to help champion National Women in Engineering Day to raise the profile of women in engineering and inspire the next generation of women engineers.’

Career advice was on hand from Ansbury Guidance and two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassadors from Catalyst Learning and Communication Ltd ran a workshop session encouraging the young participants to explore stereotypes that create barriers to working in STEM. Members of the Soroptimist International organisation and Bright Green Enterprise also supported the event.

The RNLI’s Engineering and Asset Management department has been undertaking various initiatives to encourage more girls and boys into engineering for many years, including partnerships with Southampton University and the Engineering Development Trust.

National Women in Engineering Day is now an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the rewarding career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry.


Notes to Editors

Students attended from Purbeck School, Poole High School, Talbot Heath, Highcliffe School and Bournemouth Collegiate School

National Women in Engineering Day takes place annually on 23 June.

Media Contacts

For more information please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland