Over 150 volunteers take part in third annual WES #LottieTour!

2.	Lottie helping to build and pack remotely operated underwater vehicle kits for students at the University of Washington, USA, with Erica Moulton

For the third year, members of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) will be posting photos of Lottie Dolls at work during Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (5 - 9 November 2018) to show the huge range of careers available in engineering. During the week, photos will be posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #LottieTour, as well as blogs describing what Lottie got up to in more detail uploaded on the WES and Lottie Doll’s websites.

The aim of the project is to present images of what a career in engineering might look like by use of a Lottie Doll, to help capture the imagination of young girls and boys. The plan is for parents, grandparents and other family members and friends to share the online photos with the young people in their lives who may not have access to social media, so that this sparks an interest in engineering.

Over 150 engineers, female and male from all over the world, have been involved in taking photos using Lottie Dolls borrowed from WES, coordinated by the WES Young Members' Board. Lottie Dolls donated an additional 50 Lotties to the WE50 winners so they could participate too. This year, Lottie Dolls produced bespoke PPE for WES including hard hats, high vis jackets, safety glasses and lab coats, so Lottie is ready to go on to site or into a lab.

Lottie has visited a number of engineering companies in the UK including National Grid, Balfour Beatty, Aston Martin and Arup, UK universities including the Open University and Heriot-Watt, and has been to Finland, USA and Dubai.

This project is being organised by WES YMB members Kate Mactear and Jo Douglas-Harris. Kate said, “It’s been great organising the Lottie Tour this year with Jo. We’ve had a huge response from volunteers keen to get involved with what we all believe is a fantastic project. We think the Lottie Tour is a great way to show young girls and boys that an engineer isn’t just the person who fixes your car or the builders on a building site, it’s so much more!”

Lottie Dolls have sought to fill a gap in the toy market with their real-life child inspired dolls and an ambition to disrupt gender stereotyping in the toy aisles. Recent additions to the collection include ‘Wildlife Photographer’, the world’s first mass produced doll with a cochlear implant, and – just in time for Christmas 2018 – ‘Kid Activist’ inspired by Mari Copeny AKA Little Miss Flint and ‘Loyal Companion’ inspired by Hayden Geraghty an aspiring astronaut.

Lottie Dolls MD Ian Harkin said, “This is the third year we have worked with WES during #TEWeek, last year we reached over 500,000 people during the week with really powerful imagery of engineers in their workplace together with Lottie. The images then get shown to children by their parents and teachers by following #LottieTour and #TEWeek18 on social media. We have potentially 10 times the number of companies/people participating this year. “If you can see it you can be it” really rings true here, there are so many exciting careers that we are privileged to get an insight into during the week, the hope is that it will spark an interest for a future potential career in engineering or science.”

WES President Dawn Childs added, “It is so important to inspire the next generation of engineers, particularly when there is an ever-burgeoning skills gap. Sparking that first flicker of interest and getting young minds engaged can be the spring board that is needed towards engineering as a career. The Lottie Tour is a fabulous way to provide that initial spark and to show the breadth of amazing things that engineers can do.”

If you would like to register your interest to be involved in the Lottie tour during the WES Centenary year in 2019, please contact the YMB at ymb@wes.org.uk. If you would like to follow Lottie’s Tour this year, all of the images from the week can be viewed by searching #LottieTour on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or following @YMB1919 and @Lottie_dolls on Twitter.