Whitley Bay girls push for more equality in society

An all-girls engineering team are making a stand for equality as they power through to the UK finals of an international competition.

Thursday, 12th March 2020, 8:00 am
The SuffraJETS called for more equality as part of International Women’s Day.

The SuffraJETS – Maia and Adelle, aged 13, and Orla, Darcie and Rachel, 12, and pupils at Whitley Bay’s Valley Gardens Middle School – are representing the North East in this year’s international F1 in Schools competition.

They marked International Women’s Day by encouraging their school and community to get involved in making equality between women and men an everyday reality.

Using the hashtag #EachforEqual, they promoted equal access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education and careers across their social media channels, as well as presented a special assembly at school, and organising pupils at the school to have the chance to write their own pledge about what they will do to challenge inequality every day.

Maia and Adelle, joint SuffraJETS Team Managers, said: “Getting more girls into STEM subjects and then into engineering careers is really important to us and is a big part of why we are working so hard on the F1 in Schools competition.

“The #EachforEqual campaign is all about everyone speaking up to challenge inequality that they come across in their daily lives, and by doing that we can all help to make the world more equal for everyone.”

The SuffraJETS are competing in the international F1 in Schools competition, which sees teams from around the world designing, manufacturing and racing gas-powered F1-inspired cars at regional, national and worldwide competition stages.

They will be representing the North East at the UK finals in Bristol in early April.

David Godfrey, headteacher at Valley Gardens Middle School, said: “We are so proud of our all-female F1 in Schools team and wish them every success at nationals.

“They are fantastic ambassadors for a very important message about equality in education that chimes with our school values and the way we run our school community.”

The SuffraJETS are crowdfunding for their uniforms and display at the national competition and welcome all donations to their JustGiving page.

They are also on the lookout for sponsorship from businesses who support their equality mission.

Existing sponsors include Nissan, Soroptimist International Tynemouth Whitley Bay and District, Leadsquad Ltd, Custer Design and Aircards.

As a result of their success at the regional competition, the SuffraJETS received £1,000 from the Reece Foundation, a North East based fund founded Dr Alan Reece.