London: An Indian-origin structural engineer who helped build Europe’s tallest building, the Shard in London, has been invited to Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth II.
Roma Agrawal, 29, will join a group of other female engineers at a reception being hosted by the 89-year-old monarch to encourage more women to take up the profession.
“We need to break the stereotype of an engineer and show young girls it’s a fun career,” Ms Agrawal said in advance of the event tomorrow.
The palace has also released a photograph of the then Princess Elizabeth as a driver and mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II.
An official told The Sunday Times, “In part, this is born of personal experience. As a young woman serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the Queen learnt vehicle maintenance skills that have stayed with her to this day”.
“She got her hands dirty, enjoyed it and would encourage young people today to have the same experience. And at a time when there is a big industry push for more girls to become involved in engineering, the Queen would wholeheartedly support that. It’s no coincidence that some brilliant and inspiring young female engineers will be coming to the reception,” he said.
The Queen’s support comes as a report published this week is expected to reveal that Britain lags behind other nations in the status it gives to the profession.
Only 6 per cent of registered UK engineers and technicians are women, the lowest number in Europe; just 15 per cent of UK engineering students are female.