The Guinness World Record-beating crowd of engineers

Female engineers help set new Guinness World Record

A group of engineers gathered in London’s Horse Guards Parade earlier this week to set a new Guinness World Record for high-five jumping, in honour of National Women in Engineering Day.

864 men and women joined Transport for London (TfL) commissioner Sir Peter Hendy CBE in Whitehall to break the world record for the most people performing a jumping high five simultaneously. The existing title stood at 150 pairs and this was soundly beaten by achieving 432 pairs of hands, as adjudicated by an official judge from Guinness World Records.

The successful record attempt was held to celebrate the achievements of female engineers on National Women in Engineering Day, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) day dedicated to profiling the broad array of engineering and technology careers open to women.

Kerri Rogan, head of corporate affairs at TfL, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people from every corner of our industry take part in the Guinness World Records title attempt. Not only were people having fun, but it really put the spotlight on women in transport, engineering and technology roles.

“Traditionally, these roles have not been promoted to girls as a career option. As an industry, we know there is a way to go to bridge the gender gap. This is an exciting time for women to enter engineering, as we embark on delivering one of the largest programmes of transport capital investment in the world.”

Both main sponsors of the event, Siemens and Telent, reaffirmed their commitment to promoting engineering in the UK. Siemens currently employs 500 apprentices and trainees, with telent adding another 100.

Stressing the importance of continued engagement with young people, Julie Owen, finance director for Siemens’ transport-related businesses in the UK said: “We’re a nation that is famous for its great engineers. We want to shout about the great careers that we at Siemens, and many other companies, have available for the engineers of the future and particularly want to encourage girls and women to consider a science, technology or engineering path for themselves.”

Janice Meade, HR director from Telent, added: “Innovations in technology are changing traditional engineering roles and creating new careers. To meet the future demands, we need to dissolve some of the ‘mystery’ and make career possibilities more visible and compelling to young people, particularly girls and women.

“It is also our responsibility as employers to create a working environment that both supports and invests in the development of female engineers to enable them to fulfil their potential.”

Last year, Siemens launched The Curiosity Project, a three-year programme designed to engage with young people and broaden existing investment to bolster STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in the UK.

For its part, Telent has created an IET-accredited graduate programme in engineering. The programme builds on Telent’s long-standing apprentice programmes.

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