LaurenLauren Eastburn, Senior Manufacturing EngineerBAE Systems Submarines
SophieSophie Morris, Senior Integration EngineerBAE Systems Air
BethBeth Howarth-Henry, Lead Quality EngineerBAE Systems Submarines
All three started their careers at BAE Systems Submarines business on one of our apprenticeship or graduate programmes. “We are huge believers of the phrase 'if you can see it, you can be it', so we are taking this opportunity to recognise all the amazing women who have come before us within the Defence and Engineering industries, and in our company, working tirelessly to pave the way for a new generation of engineers who can grow and develop in a more inclusive environment.”
Working in partnership with GirlGuiding North West and forming a team called ‘G-Eng’, they launched the ‘Clever Cogs’ badge programme in 2017, the first of its kind for the Guiding movement.
Since its launch, the ‘Clever Cogs’ programme, has been completed by more than 23,000 girls aged 5 – 24 across the UK and is the most popular badge Girlguiding North West England has ever run. The programme so far includes 33 different activities across four badges providing a greater insight into what engineering is and includes information about inspirational female engineering role models who have excelled in their fields.
We created the Clever Cogs badge programme to dismantle stereotypes of what it means to be an engineer, and to give girls and young women the opportunity to learn about Engineering in a fun and engaging way. Collaborating with a female-led, empowering organisation, Girlguiding, has been the perfect opportunity for us to achieve this goal.
Lauren, Beth and Sophie
Due to the popularity of Clever Cogs - the G-Eng team and Girlguiding North West England are introducing a new badge every year, for six years, which started on International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) in 2019 with a badge that was themed around transportation engineering. On INWED 2020, the next expansion pack was launched, themed around environmental engineering.
On 23 June (INWED 2021) the latest badge, Making Waves, was launched during a virtual event that more than 500 girl guides attended. “We are excited about this year’s Clever Cogs badge, called Clever Cogs: Making Waves because it is themed around Marine Engineering, which is the industry that all three of us started our Engineering journeys in.”
In 2019, the G-Eng team launched a similar programme for Girl Guides Singapore called ‘She Solves’, and in 2020 launched the ‘Gear up’ badge with the Girl Guides Association Malaysia (Persatuan Pandu Puteri Malaysia).
We have worked closely with Girlguiding North West England for over 5 years now, and have reached tens of thousands of young women in the process. It is our hope that girls and young women will grow up with a more realistic and informed view of what Engineering really is so they can choose it as a career if they want to, and create a more inclusive Engineering industry.
Lauren, Beth and Sophie
All of us here at Girlguiding North West England are really excited about the launch of our brand new STEM challenge pack all about marine engineering. Since our partnership with BAE Systems began with the launch of the first Clever Cogs pack, 23,448 of our Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers have taken part so it's had a huge reach and we're delighted to be launching this new pack - and what better day to do it than International Women in Engineering Day!
Julie Walton, Region Chief Commissioner of Girlguiding North West England