Safran Landing Systems shows STEM and aviation opportunities for girls
On March 5, 2020, in support of the Girls On the Move Week and in celebration of International Women's Day, Safran Landing Systems in Ajax, hosted 35 local Grade 10 Students from Ajax High School, Pickering High School and J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate.
The goal of this event was to show young women who are planning their education and future career the diversity of professional opportunities in technical industries. According to the World Economic Forum, less than third of female students choose to study higher education courses in subjects like math and engineering. This, in turn, leads to an underrepresentation of women, in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) including Aerospace. In a research report "Why So Few?", the American Association of University Women (AAUW) presents a number of factors that potentially hinder females' progress in STEM, such as social stereotypes, gender bias, the climate of science/engineering departments in schools etc. One of the ways to ‘interrupt' stereotypes is to show young women the real-life application of STEM and the various careers they could have by providing professional females who followed STEM studies and, in our case, entered the Aerospace industry.
During the event, the girls learned about the functioning of a landing gear, its key components and the new technology used to design and manufacture the gears. The girls were invited to tour the plant and see all the aspects of Landing Gear Manufacturing from machining, metrology, assembly, testing, as well as repair and overhaul. A special overview was given on the variety of possible careers at Safran Landing Systems locally and globally with opportunities in technical fields as well as skilled trades and non-technical professions. A recent graduate and one of the site's Junior Designers shared her personal story of pursuing a career in Aerospace Engineering and her views on diversity in engineering as well as the personality attributes critical in modern science. Finally, the event wrapped up with the hands-on paper helicopter challenge teaching the students efficiency, strategy and team work.
At Safran, we recognize that events like this are an important step toward attracting women in STEM and Aerospace leading to a greater gender balance which creates diversity of perspectives, ideas and experiences – all are critical components of innovation and progress.