International Women’s Day was celebrated this week at Pembrokeshire Council owned Haverfordwest Airport with recognition of the inspirational women involved in STEM careers in South-West Wales, and a chance for young people to gain an insight into the wealth and diversity of opportunities available in Aviation, Engineering and associated careers. 

The day was part of an exciting week of activities programme hosted by the teams at Haverfordwest airport, organised jointly by Haverfordwest Airport, Metal Seagulls, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Pembrokeshire College, Fly Wales, Aerospace Wales Forum and Pembrokeshire County Council. 

A wide range of age and ability students were given the opportunity to engage with just some of the women making successful careers in aviation, and learn about the study and career pathways available to them. They also had the opportunity to chat to a pilot, sit in a plane, learn more about flying and how light aircraft are built, take part in mechanical, electrical and electronic activities, see 3D print engineered components, and to explore educational routes towards their ambitions. 

The young people were selected following a Pembrokeshire-wide competition, and included pupils from Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, Portfield School, Prendergast School, Spittal VC School, Milford Haven School, Castle School, Stepping Stones unit, and more. 

There was also a live interactive webcast from UWTSD campus on IWD highlighting women, courses, and opportunities in STEM that inspired and helped to open up career path concepts. 

Cllr Pat Davies, Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, said the authority was once again proud to celebrate International Women’s Day.“It’s been heartening to hear about all the wonderful activities taking place at Haverfordwest Airport and across Pembrokeshire to mark IWD, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women,” she said. “My sincere thanks go to all involved.” 

Patricia Mawuli Porter OBE, who was one of the main organisers and also hosted many activities in her company hangar, said:“We believe that airfields and airports, such as Haverfordwest Airport are community assets. They provide training, engineering and logistical solutions for businesses and the emergency services, as well as an inspirational nugget for schools to discover, as part of their curriculum.”

Patricia’s company, who are working on nex-gen light aviation solutions, is looking to take on two apprentices a year for the next five years, funding permitting. 

Lisa Lucas, Industry Relationship Manager University of Trinity Saint David, said:“It was a pleasure to support this week of events and activities. At UWTSD our MADE Cymru programme is dedicated to upskilling manufacturers in Wales, thereby driving economic growth in the sector. As engineering and manufacturing are integral components of Wales' economy, we take pride in being a part of an event that seeks to encourage and attract the next generation of young professionals to these thriving industries and also celebrating women like Patricia and Carys at metal Seagulls who are breaking down barriers, overcoming challenges, and inspiring future generations of women to pursue their passions.”