Aberdeen entrepreneur Jeanette Forbes has backed a new Aberdeen University group trying to encourage more young women to develop an interest in science and technology.

The chief executive of energy sector-focused information technology company PCL Group got involved in the Robogals volunteers after they turned to her for support. She said: “I was really impressed with what they were trying to achieve and that they had started up the group, volunteering their own time to set it up with very little resource.”

“I just had to get involved and try and help them achieve their goal.”

“I firmly believe that our oil and gas sector, whilst going through challenging times, still provides excellent, long-term career opportunities for our young people who are the future pioneers.”

“Developments in technology means that the dynamics and skills requirement of the industry is changing, and I do all I can to encourage young women, in particular, to give serious consideration to the energy sector as an exciting and worthwhile career which can benefit from their skills and provide them with great opportunities.”

Robogals is an international student-run organisation which aims to inspire, engage and empower young women to consider studying engineering and related fields by hosting engineering and science based workshops in local schools.

After being launched in Australia in 2008, the scheme now has more than 30 chapters across 10 countries.

The Aberdeen University group was set up earlier this year after Laura Ong, a second year chemical engineering student, and two friends attended a Robogals convention in Cambridge.

Ms Ong said: “We came back really enthused and decided we didn’t just want to sign up as volunteers, we wanted to set up a new chapter.”

“We would have really struggled without the help we’ve received from Jeanette.”

“She has really enabled us and supported us, not only by providing equipment for the chapter but also through mentoring and giving us advice,” said Ms Ong.

This article was printed in the Press & Journal, 27 September 2016