International Women in Engineering Day (#INWED2017) was initially launched in 2014 as the UK’s “National Women in Engineering Day” by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate their 95th anniversary. Each year it has gained more momentum, and has now evolved into a truly international day of recognition of the contribution that women have to offer engineering. Last year it was even given UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization) patronage!
This Press Release from WES provides a good overview of INWED which takes place on Friday:
Women make up less than 10% of the engineering sector in the UK. With a large skills gap looming and the additional need for a more diverse workforce, it has never been more important to inspire and encourage more people, especially women, to choose a career in engineering.
Set up in 2014 by WES to celebrate its 95th birthday, this national, and now international, awareness day focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities in engineering and technical roles, including for girls and young women, and celebrates the achievements of women engineers and technologists.
Working in partnership with many of the engineering world’s globally recognised names, WES itself will be celebrating the day with events in London. UK-based engineering and innovation company Colas Ltd, one of the sponsors of INWED in 2017, has worked with WES to hold a Breakfast Roundtable at the House of Commons, hosted by Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh. Participants will include Allan Cook (Chair, Atkins), Benita Mehra (WES President) and Caroline Gumble (Chief Operating Officer, EEF).
This invitation-only panel will seek to explore key ways forward in an international context and highlight issues related to women in engineering. It will explore one of INWED’s key themes in 2017, ‘men as allies’, for, as Caroline Gumble explains: “Without male decision makers as allies, women will continue to be unrepresented in the engineering sector at all levels.”
Lee Rushbrooke, CEO, Colas Ltd, commented: “Colas is a proud sponsor of International Women in Engineering Day 2017, promoting, rewarding careers and opportunities in engineering for women. Colas is committed to supporting greater diversity within the sector and actively encourages women in engineering.”
Benita Mehra, President of WES, remarked: “WES exists to provide a voice to women in engineering. We need to find more and better ways to increase the number of women taking a full part in engineering and allied sectors with actions from employers, educators and policymakers. I am very much looking forward to sharing this INWED Roundtable with such eminent and influential colleagues.”
Studor recognises the contributions that engineers of any gender have to offer the industry. However, it is a documented fact that women constitute a small percentage of engineers versus men. In support of #NWED2017, each day this week we will again be publishing a short interview with a variety of international female engineers.