Young female pupils have been inspired to consider a future career in science and technology thanks to a key networking event organised by Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

Over 90 people including representatives from leading STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) local industries attended the Business Breakfast at St Albans Girls’ School (STAGS) on Thursday 27 November.

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has asked the British Chamber of Commerce to pilot different ways to create lasting relationships between schools and local businesses, to help broaden aspirations and develop workplace skills. Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is focusing on STEM skills, which is one of the sectors identified by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership as key to economic growth in the county.

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce CEO Yolanda Rugg said: “I was so inspired by the young female engineers who spoke about STEM alternative roles into employment; this was a unique opportunity for the speakers to give a wonderful insight into employment and highly skilled careers.”

Kate Bellingham, engineer and TV presenter, was one of seven panel speakers at the breakfast with representatives from Airbus Defence and Space, SKANSKA, Affinity Water and MBDA.

(From left to right: Margaret Chapman (Head at STAGS), Sulina Odwong (Membership Services Officer at Herts Chamber, Neville Reyner (Chairmen of Herts Chamber), Kate Bellingham (Engineer and TV Presenter), Yolanda Rugg (CEO of Herts Chamber), Cally Gentle ( Engineering Apprentice), Danielle Calvert (Engineering Apprentice), Ellen McHugh (Assistant Head Teacher: Student Leadership and Enterprise)