Welder-fabricator Chloe won Stoke on Trent College Apprentice of the Year in 2019 and has since been subject to widespread media attention, giving interviews to local and national newspapers, appearing on BBC Radio and attending STEM careers events such as the one held by Lincoln Electric recently.
Chloe is a passionate advocate for more women taking the Engineering career path and uses her own journey and experiences to demonstrate what girls can achieve in a traditionally male dominated industry. She is driven by a desire to break the traditional gender stereotypes, particularly in her work life. “I want to show that I can do everything a man can do… and more” Chloe has often stated.
Outside of work, she takes this one step further, by actively encouraging other like-minded young girls to take the leap into Engineering careers themselves. She offers insight, support and advice through educational and careers events and by regularly communicating her message through social media.
In this short interview Chloe discusses life since joining Alpha, the topic of Women in Engineering in general and how she hopes to make a positive impact on the subject.
Chloe was asked to attend in order to speak to a group of secondary school girls who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. She spent some time talking about her own experiences as a woman in welding, her challenges and successes, as well as her current role at Alpha Manufacturing. Alongside Chloe was Ruth Amos, Inventor and Director of the Kids Invent Stuff Youtube Channel, who also shared her inspirational story, along with some technical advice for the group.
Held at the Lincoln Electric facilities in Sheffield, the event was designed to encourage young females with an interest in STEM careers to take the step and follow in the footsteps of other inspiring female engineers. The girls were invited to try their hands at a virtual welder, with Chloe giving instruction and advice, before they had a go for real, MIG welding some small components as Chloe and Ruth talked them through the process.
This is the latest example of Chloe’s desire to encourage other young females to follow in her footsteps and begin a career in engineering. Her determination to show that women can not only work in roles traditionally dominated by men, but can also thrive and succeed, means that she takes any opportunity to spread her positive message. Chloe was named STEM Apprentice of the Year 2019 by Stoke-on-Trent College and has since spoken extensively about women in engineering and promoting equality within STEM careers.
“No-one thinks of welding as being a woman’s job. It is seen as noisy, harsh and dangerous, and I think people were worried that I’d find it too exhausting – both physically and mentally, being a woman in a male-dominated environment.”
“I love my job because it’s different. I like doing my own thing and being in my own lane. I enjoy the variety of work and the feeling of satisfaction that I get when I’ve finished a job. It’s well paid too. I don’t have a problem with being a woman in a man’s environment.”
“Everybody told me not to do it. That’s why I go out and tell other girls not to listen to their friends or people who want to put them off. They can do it. I did. And I love it.”
Having returned to the comfort of her welding station here at Alpha, Chloe is now on the look-out for other similar opportunities to spread her inspirational message to other like-minded young females currently considering a STEM career.