Award for apprentice mechanic Gemima who is fighting for gender equality in the workplace

Gemima with her award and Prince Michael of Kent.

Gemima with her award and Prince Michael of Kent. - Credit: One

An apprentice mechanic from Ipswich who is driving for gender equality in the workplace has won national recognition for her talent.

Gemima Christodoulou-Peace, 19, received the ‘outstanding light vehicle technical award 2016’ from the Institute of the Motor Industry during its annual celebration of achievement. The accolade was presented to her by Prince Michael of Kent.

She said: “There was 10,000 people in the category that I was in and I won. It felt shocking at the time, and it’s taken a while to sink in. It’s a massive thing for me and it has given me confidence that will aid me in my future prospects.”

This year Gemima was the only woman to complete a level three vehicle maintenance and repair course at One sixth form centre in Ipswich. She is now working as an apprentice mechanic for Hyundai.

During her time at One she teamed up with fellow students to promote careers in engineering to girls in schools; and she also created a campaign film with charity Fixers urging young people to ignore employment stereotypes.

Looking to the future, Gemima said: “After my apprenticeship I may go to university. And in 10 to 15 years from now I think ultimately I’d like to go down the motorsports route.”

Deputy principal of One, Jenny Milsom, said: “Gemima was a superb student and we are incredibly proud of her. To win when she was up against so much competition is impressive.

“She is one of the top engineering students in the UK, therefore we are delighted for her. She worked hard when she was with us so deserves this recognition.”