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Today school, tomorrow the world

Girls from St Michael’s school in Crosby with NHS Blood and Transplant practitioner Rachel Parry and SI Crosby’s Chris Smith who chaired the day.

“You can reach the top like us” – message from leading women scientists and engineers to local schoolgirls

Inspirational young women working in science, technology, engineering and maths came to Crosby to inspire local girl students that they too could reach the top in scientific, technological, maths and engineering careers.  The speakers included leading engineers, medical scientists, a high flying car industry apprentice and environmental experts.



Almost 100 girl student from seven local schools in Crosby and Formby attended the STEM conference, organised by a local women’s organisation, Soroptimist International of Crosby. The aim was to open the students’ eyes to the exciting job opportunities awaiting them in career paths which girl students do not always consider as a career.  It is the third year that the Soroptimist group has organised the event.

Speakers from some of the region’s biggest employers shared their stories on how they got into successful careers.  They included biomedical scientists from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Alder Hey plus civil engineers and environmental consultants.  The students were able to join in inter-active workshops with the experts, learning more about their field. Some got the chance to “fire rockets.”

One of the speakers was Jaguar Land Rover higher apprentice Danielle Flynn who works at the company’s Halewood operation. She is studying Applied Engineering part time at the University of Warwick alongside working in the Body Shop Standards and Controls department

“As the only female apprentice in my year, I feel passionate about encouraging more women into Engineering, “said Danielle.  “My role is to help maintain one standard throughout the plants and look for new technologies to introduce. My team also looks into robot programming and fault finding when issues occur.”

Danielle has been a STEM ambassador for three years and is holder of two Apprentice of the Year awards.

Soroptimist International is a worldwide organisation that is committed to women’s education and empowerment.  Sheila Chatterton is President of SI Crosby, the organisation that has organised the day.




“It is vital that young people, but in particular young women, are encouraged to study STEM subjects and be aware of the opportunities available to them in the workplace.  There are still far too few women in the engineering and science professions.  Our aim has been to open up young minds by meeting women who are examples of what opportunities are available to them,” said Sheila.

Crosby schools attending the conference, held at  Crosby Comrades Club,  were Chesterfield High, Merchant Taylor’s  Girls School,  Holy Family, Sacred Heart, St  Mary’s, St Michaels.  Students from Range High School, Formby also attended.

At the end of the conference, many students said their minds had been opened to careers they had not thought of before and that some would now consider careers in STEM areas.

Science teacher Rachel Matthews from St Michael’s school, said the event had been invaluable in helping to make  students aware of  the wide range of careers which  might be available to girls which some might not have  considered  before. “Having a specific event designed to focus on these careers is very helpful.”

Catherine Howard, Careers Teacher at St Mary’s said: “This has been really beneficial to our girls. They have been able to meet really positive role models to give them an insight into just what they can achieve in science and technology fields if that is where their interests lie.”

Range HIgh School student Katherine, 14, said she had been interested in being an industrial chemist like her grandfather and the event had convinced her that might be her chosen career path.


Nina Finlay is a Civil Engineer and is the Managing Director of Finlay Engineering Ltd and has been self-employed since 2012.  She has worked in the construction, oil and rail industry.

Hannah Cooper is an Environmental Consultant.  She advises design for projects such as flood defences and wastewater treatment works.

Stephanie Stephenson is head of Human Resources at Jaguar Land Rover Halewood and a member of SI Crosby.

Sajni Halai is the quality lead engineer for Jaguar Land Rover at its Birmingham plant.

Bethan Phillips is part of maintenance team in Trim and Final at Jaguar Land Rover.  Born in South Africa, she moved to the UK in September 2000and completed her four year apprenticeship in September 2017.

Jessica Jones is a Specialist Biomedical Scientist in the microbiology department at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.  Her work entails testing a variety of patient samples for signs of infection such as a baby with query meningitis.  She passed a Masters in Genomic Medicine in 2018.



Natasha Holey is a Specialist Biomedical Scientist in microbiology at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. She is currently on maternity leave but has agreed to support the event.

Noelia Pitrelli is a Research Officer within Clinical Research in Ophthalmology at St Paul’s Clinical Eye Research Centre where she conducts clinical research studies that aim to either improve current treatments or develop new/better treatments for conditions that affect the eyes.

Rachel Parry , a tissue bank practitioner from the NHS Blood and Transplant team.