The purpose of the Tour is to show what a career in engineering might look like through the use of a Lottie doll. Lottie’s travels aim to capture the imagination of young girls and boys who may not understand what it means to be an engineer. Parents, grandparents, other family members and teachers are being asked to share the photos with young people to spark an interest in engineering. This year the Lottie Tour is also available for sponsorship with GKN Automotive being the first confirmed sponsor supporting the tour.
Lottie Doll makers Arklu have donated the dolls that are sent to WES volunteers who participate, along with specially made PPE including hard hats, high vis jackets, lab coats and safety glasses, so Lottie is ready to go on site and into the lab safely. Arklu CEO Ian Harkin said, “#TEWeek with #WESLottieTour is my favourite campaign that we do with Lottie each year, the power of visually seeing women and men in their work places doing their jobs is inspiring so many girl and boys each year to consider careers in Engineering – or any STEM career for that matter. Reading about a career is one thing but following someone during their week as they perform their tasks gives a real world insight that’s both fun and educational.”
Once again engineers, both male and female, from numerous engineering companies have taken part in this year’s Lottie Tour, including Airbus, WSP, BAE Systems and Ramboll and plenty of UK universities including the University of Exeter, University of Warwick, Loughborough University and the University of Southampton.
Understandably, this year has led to challenges with Lottie Tour as many volunteers are working mainly from home, with fewer site visits and less time in labs. Volunteers have been encouraged to expand the photos taken with Lottie to include how they’re coping with home working and other projects they've taken on this year including DIY projects at home. There is also the option of taking part in a virtual Lottie Tour where volunteers can download a Lottie from the Lottie website and use the virtual doll to make their own photos online.
WES Lottie Tour is organised by members of the WES Early Careers Board (ECB); Kate Mactear and Vera Ngosi-Sambrook. Vera said “This has been a challenging year for many of us, and we have had to adapt to new ways of working. We are looking forward to seeing the innovative ways that engineers have continued to do their work remotely through this year's Lottie Tour”.
CEO Elizabeth Donnelly said “The Women’s Engineering Society is delighted that we are holding the Fifth Lottie Tour. This year has been challenging for engineers, having to deal with working from home and also adapting their sites and processes to help with the pandemic. It will be lovely to see Lottie working during the pandemic, whether at home, in the lab or on the factory floor, and to see her working on domestic projects. This year we hope that Lottie can show how engineers can adapt to many situations and also support the effort to eradicate the virus.”
WES Lottie Tour can be followed online during Tomorrow’s Engineers Week on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn by searching for #WESLottieTour or by following @WESECB1919. All photos will be available to view afterwards on the Lottie Tour website. If you would like to take part this year visit: www.weslottietour.org.uk.