Meet the Havering girl mechanics driving for equality on International Women’s Day

The girls made a presentation at International Women's Day

The girls made a presentation at International Women's Day - Credit: Archant

Four girl students at Havering College of Further and Higher Education used the International Women’s Day celebrations on Saturday to drive home a message challenging the gender gap in traditional male dominated industries.

Katie “Angel” Jane, Shanon Pereira, Paige O’Dell and Charlotte Christie, who are all learning to become mechanics, presented FLOWERS - a have-a-go activity designed to teach hundreds of women visitors how to do basic car checks.

Their maintenance lesson covered Fuel, Lights, Oil, Water, Electrics, Rubber (tyres) - and Screen.

The students were delighted to don their new college issue footwear – bright pink Dr Marten’s boots.

Paige, 16, from Brentwood, said: “It is International Women’s Day and challenging the gender gap really appeals to me. It is not expected for girls to want to do a motor vehicle course but that made me want to do it even more. I have always had a passion for fixing things and want a career that will be hands-on. My ambition is to be a mechanic in the army.”

Havering’s theme for this year’s event, held at the college’s Ardleigh Green campus, in Hornchurch, was “Women Mean Business”. The day focussed on the positive impact women have made in the business world, from local enterprises to national boardrooms.

Speakers included Ingrid Brandon from the Elm Park Regeneration Partnership.

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Various workshops took place, and there were tips on retraining, developing business ideas and improving CVs and interview skills from experienced businesswomen.