Voices Project

Informing course and career choices at GCSE, A Level, Apprentice and Degree level.

The Voices Project has been funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering since 2013, and sets out to capture stories from women engineering students to support teenage girls making choices about course options, university or work.

The project offers contemporary insights into the thoughts and aspirations of women engineering students and reflections on ethnicity and socio-economic background through a poster and supporting webspace.

Prior to this work WES was a sustainability partner in the UCL led 'Set to Lead' project, and the Voices project follows on from this work. Set to Lead produced ground-breaking outputs including leadership resources, videos and a survey of over 4,500 engineering and technology students, including 1,200 women.

The Voices project included:

  • Focus groups with girls in year 7, 9 and 10 in Dorset and London
  • Discussion groups with students from Aston, Birmingham, Cardiff, Sheffield Hallam, UCL and Cardiff Universities
  • Cupcake Poster. The poster was launched on 20 March 2012 at the Royal Acdemy of Engineering as part of National Science and Engineering Week. 
  • Information poster of quotes and stories from students and early career women. This has since taken on the identity as the 'Cupcake' poster and 20,000 copies have now been produced and are being distributed by WES.
  • Engineer Girl Webspace to share the advice.Updated data report analysing the HESA and first destinations of students from engineering and technology degrees looking at gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status of students.
  • Final Summary Report on the Voices Project including recommendations
  • Final Full Report on the Data of the Voices Project.

The activities of the Voices project have been underpinned by the key findings of the WES Diversity in Engineering report. For details on the background evidence to Voices and for the reports and data, please refer to the Diversity in Engineering page.

For further details on this work, please contact the WES office on info@wes.org.uk