To celebrate International Women's Day, our Early Careers team ran their Girls Into Bentley event, welcoming around 60 girls from local schools and colleges to our home in Crewe to get a glimpse into life inside Bentley.

And who better to chat to us about the event than two of our own extraordinary colleagues, who were inspired to pursue a career at Bentley after attending the event themselves in previous years...

Holly Proudfoot | Electrical Test Planning Engineer

"I started my journey at Bentley as a Manufacturing Mechatronics Apprentice in 2014, before moving into the Electrical team as a technician, and later a Team Leader. My next role was actually something completely different to the Manufacturing environment I had been working in, as I spent just over one year working in our Early Careers team. 

I think when I started at Bentley, there was roughly 1 in 10 of the new cohort that were female, but ever since then, there has been a new female Mechatronics Apprentice join every year, and there are definitely more females working across a variety of roles at all levels in the Engineering and Manufacturing areas, which is great to see, and a testament to the outreach work the business has done.

The Girls Into Bentley event is something that is very important to me - having set up and managed the first event that took place when I was an Apprentice myself, it's just amazing to see so many bright young women who are interested in an Engineering career, as well as the success stories such as Melanie's where some even end up beginning their career with us."

Melanie Ashun | Degree Apprentice, Quality

"I actually attended the Girls Into Bentley event when I was in Year 10 at school, and I remember being so excited because I had never visited a car factory before!

At the time I wasn't entirely sure what sort of career I wanted to pursue, but it was the combination of hearing from the (at-the time) Apprentices and Graduates about their life at Bentley and the opportunity to actually get inside some Bentleys for the first time in my life that made me realise this was a company I wanted to pursue a career with.

I've always valued education, learning and development, but I knew I did not just want to go to University for three or four years - I wanted to do something more hands-on and practical after having done Design and Technology at GCSE and A-Level, and after some work experience at some other engineering companies, I applied for, and managed to secure a Degree Apprenticeship in our fantastic Quality department.

The advice I would give, to any girls wanting to pursue a career in Engineering, is to just go for it, with everything you have. Don't assume it's just a male-dominated area, there are so many brilliant women in engineering. Be confident, believe in yourself and just be you."

This year's Girls Into Bentley event...

For the Girls Into Bentley event itself, we welcomed around 50 students from local schools to come to site for an immersion into all things Bentley.

The day started off with a welcome from our Early Careers team before embarking on a tour around the factory and a visit to our Heritage Garage to see just how far the company has come in the last 104 years. The group then took part in a CV skills workshop with members of the HR team, before being joined for lunch by Karen. In the afternoon, the group took part in a number of activities relating to vehicle assembly, inspection, veneers and paints, before wrapping up the day by being presented with their certificates. We hope they had an exciting day, and that we may see them follow in Melanie's and Holly's footsteps in the future!