A Royal June for WISE
WISE are delighted that HRH The Princess Royal remains committed as our Royal Patron, dedicated to supporting the WISE mission of promoting women in science, technology and engineering.
In this our 30th anniversary year we were privileged to receive two Royal invitations to mark the occasion: a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and a very special invitation for a prominent WISE sponsor to join HRH in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.
Sarah Shaw, WISE Communications Director and Fay Best, WISE Associate were accompanied to the Garden Party by Rachel Johns, Sarah’s sister and a Senior Process Engineer at Syngenta Grangemouth in Scotland and Fay’s partner, former Royal Marine Mark Bradford. The party enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea and even had the chance to sing ‘happy birthday’ to the Duke of Edinburgh.
Rachel, who has been involved with many projects to promote engineering, maths and science subjects to school girls, said: “I believe it is important that girls are aware of the many exciting opportunities to be creative and make a difference that a career in engineering can offer. I was delighted to attend the Garden Party with WISE and meet HRH The Princess Royal who is clearly a passionate supporter of the campaign.”
Later in the month, Liz Watson, Head of Product Safety Assurance at Rolls-Royce plc and her husband joined HRH for a private lunch at Royal Ascot. The team at WISE took great pleasure in extending this invitation to Rolls Royce as they were the first ever WISE Corporate Member.
Liz shares the day with us and her thoughts on WISE: “It was a great privilege to be asked to represent Rolls-Royce as the first corporate sponsor of WISE. An invitation to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot as the guest of The Princess Royal was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and my husband. We met The Princess for lunch at Her Majesty’s Guest Tent. I thanked her for inviting us and for her continued sponsorship of WISE. She asked if we were making progress. The answer is most definitely yes. There are many more women in science and engineering now than 30 years ago when WISE began and I started my first job at Rolls-Royce and we should celebrate that.
For the future there is still much to be done but the most progressive companies recognise that there are periods in everyone’s career where it is hard to give your all at work and at home, when someone has a young family or caring commitments. Offering employees a genuine helping hand at these times can be very powerful and a positive way of encouraging more women in particular to see clearly how they can combine career and family rather than driving them to compromise. WISE are taking the lead with their commitment to 30% women in science and engineering by 2020 and it is good to know that The Princess Royal is continuing her support.
After meeting HRH we had a restorative glass of champagne and then lunch where we met our fellow guests who were from some of the many groups The Princess supports. When lunch was over we all walked to the Parade Ring to watch the Royal Procession and see the horses and jockeys for the first race. The rest of the day was our own to enjoy and we had fun watching the people and the races with the added bonus of picking a winner in the last race.
I can honestly say we enjoyed every minute of the day, from arriving at the course to the community singing around the bandstand where we sang along to Rule Britannia and Land of Hope, very British! We left at about 8pm and there were still many people enjoying picnics in the car park in the evening sunshine. What a day!”
HRH The Princess Royal is hugely valued by the WISE team and we very much hope that she accepts our invitation to once again present the prestigious WISE Awards in November. Nominations are open now, closing August 22nd, and tickets are also on sale.