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Billie Sequeira

Apprentices and Trainees as a Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) representative

I joined BAE Systems as an apprentice in 2017. I spent the first year employed by the company offsite at IPS International where I learnt basic practical skills to give me a great foundation coming onto site. The second year was spent completing a programme of placements at 6 different departments onsite which enabled me to further develop my skills and gain a greater insight into the organisation and our products, as well as an appreciation of a product’s full lifecycle, from conception to delivery. Now in my final year, I have joined the Hardware Engineering department where I work on design and development for new and upcoming products. Every day is different, one day I might be working on the world’s most advanced fast-jet helmet, and the next day, studying the flight control systems you’ll find on your everyday passenger aircraft.

Aside from my day job, I enjoy engaging with the charity fundraising team, as well as representing apprentices and trainees as a Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) representative.

As a STEM Ambassador, I am passionate about challenging stereotypes and balancing the female representation in STEM. Technology impacts our lives every day. To create new or enhanced technology, businesses need input from a diverse workforce and one of the most practical ways to create diversity is to be sure that women are an integral part of the workforce. Yet research shows that female students of all ages are more likely to abandon STEM studies due to lack of support or fulfilment and that means that many products that are part of our daily lives have been designed without input from women. Visiting schools, meetings students and, hopefully encouraging them to consider STEM based roles, is my small way of contributing to addressing the imbalance.

I am also an LGBT+ ally and am passionate about opening up the conversation around mental health. With 1 in 4 people experiencing poor mental health, I think it is essential that we are able to talk openly about this and tackle any negative attitudes. Managing our personal emotional health, and supporting others, should be something we all do in our daily lives.

To relax, I enjoy listening to music and go to concerts, gigs and music festivals as often as I can. I play the guitar and love socialising with my friends, trying out the local restaurants and bars.I am lucky to live by the sea and like to take the dog for a walk along the seafront in the evening when the sun is setting. I enjoy cooking too, although this is a skill I am yet to master!

I am delighted to have been chosen as one of the WES Top 50 Women in Engineering, especially amongst such a high calibre of candidates. It’s great to know that the work I am doing is of value and it feels fantastic that this is recognised by both the Women’s Engineering Society and within BAE Systems. Being an apprentice, I wouldn’t say I have reached my full potential yet as I have still so much to learn, but I am really looking forward to see what the future holds…

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