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Sian Cleaver - WISE Young Women's Board 2014-2016

Sian Cleaver

Mission Systems Engineer at Airbus Defence and Space

My job allows me to be part of designing and developing future missions to help explore our solar system. I’m a Mission Systems Engineer at Airbus Defence and Space, and have been for three years now after starting on the graduate scheme. I love my job because not many people get to say that they’ve worked on something that will actually launch into space!

I always knew that I wanted to work in the space industry and was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who encouraged me and supported me when I was younger. I grew up with the impression that I could have any career that I wanted, in any field, providing I worked hard enough. My school really encouraged girls to consider careers in STEM; in fact, I vividly remember attending a week-long engineering event run by WISE when I was 14 years old!

My experiences were such that I was actually a little confused as to why there was so much effort put into encouraging women into STEM subjects. I just didn’t understand why it was necessary – at my single-sex school there was no shortage of girls studying STEM subjects. It is only now that I realise that my beliefs were a resounding testament to the efforts of organisations such as WISE and inspiring role models who endeavour to change pre-conceived ideas about STEM subjects.

As a member of the WISE Young Women’s Board I really hope that I can help to encourage and support other young women into STEM careers. I want every girl in the UK to have access to inspiring role models, and supportive circles of influence. And I want all young people to gain a better understanding of what the word “engineering” means, and what sort of careers it can offer, in the hope that the talented engineers of the future don’t miss out on their dream jobs. I want to give something back and help others to have the experiences that I have had. Being part of the WISE Campaign allows me to do this, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

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