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Navy celebrates female engineers

23 June 2023
Female engineers and their allies converged on the Gosport establishment to discuss, champion and celebrate the role of female engineers ahead of today’s International Women in Engineering Day.

Organised by the Women’s Engineering Society, the global awareness day seeks to raise the profile of women in engineering and highlight the amazing career opportunities available to women and girls in this exciting industry.

Sultan is home to the Defence School of Marine Engineering and the Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School where engineers and technicians are equipped with the skills to function as the ‘beating heart of operational capability’, maintaining, repairing, sustaining, and operating our aircraft, ships, submarines and vehicles daily on operations worldwide.

Chief Petty Officer ‘Lorry’ Osman is a divisional officer teaching air engineering to the sailors of tomorrow.

“Back in 1997 when I joined the Navy and came through my initial air engineering training at HMS Sultan there were all sorts of restrictions on what women could do, including not serving on the Commando Helicopter Force or as a member of the submarine service, so it’s great to see these opportunities have now been opened up to women from across the Navy and the wider Armed Forces,” she said.

Lorry was inspired to become an air engineer by her father who maintained Royal Navy aircraft in the 1960s. She overcame the lack of support and encouragement in society to pursue her dream career.

“The general perception at my school was that engineering was ‘just for boys’ so there weren’t really any opportunities to get involved either, but thankfully I didn’t let that stop me,” she added.

“There’s definitely lots more females involved in engineering than when I first joined. Now I try to help encourage others, no matter their gender or background to take a closer look at engineering as anything is possible.”

A lunch and seminar focussed on how Royal Navy engineering can promote diversity and inclusion, not just in the Armed Forces, but also through offering engineering role models across society.

“It’s great to have everyone together chatting and learning about their experiences. It’s important to have allies here too so we can learn from each other,” Lorry said.

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