On 23 June 2014 people all over the country celebrated National Women in Engineering Day (NWED).
National Women in Engineering Day has been created to honour the achievements of women in engineering and to bring to the forefront the fantastic opportunities out there for women today in this sector.
It has been organised by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) a professional, non-profit network of female engineers, scientists and technologists offering inspiration, support and professional development to celebrate their 95th anniversary.
The event aimed for companies, governmental organisations, schools, individual female engineers and other organisations on local and national levels to organise their own events and link them together through the use of the NWED logo, website www.nwed.org.uk, and supporting resources to create maximum impact for the event.
Here are just a few ideas of how individuals and organisations got involved in National Women in Engineering Day with more information and ideas available at www.nwed.org.uk and www.wes.org.uk/nwed
Company or organisations in the engineering sector:
- Organise visits for local school children and parents, and encourage girls to attend ‘Launch a Women’s Network’ or arrange a social event for your women engineers.
- Register your women engineers to speak at schools.(www.wes.org.uk/register)
- Schools, Colleges, Universities, Scouts, Girl Guides, Girls Brigade or other Group:
- Invite a woman engineer to talk to your students or members.
- Organise an activity to encourage girls in the area of engineering (www.wes.org.uk/resources)
- Arrange a visit or invite a local engineering employer to visit you.
- Launch a competition to encourage innovation, creativity and fun.
- Review your careers advice and literature to ensure that you are giving the best possible advice.
- Look at your science teaching to ensure that it is gender neutral.
- Organise some training for your science teachers on careers in engineering.
Professional Engineering Institutions:
- Advertise this day to your members and encourage them to organise their own events.
- Set up a Women’s Membership Group or Committee, and appoint a Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
- Organise a Women’s Networking or Mentoring Event on this day.
- Organise a lecture given by a woman engineer.
- Make details of your women members available to schools or other groups looking for speakers.
Individual Women Engineers:
- Register to speak at a local school, university or other local groups.
- Contact your local school and offer to meet their pupils or become a school governor.
- Encourage your Company or organisation to get involved in some of the activities above.
- Tweet about your job #whatengineersdo or in support of NWED #nwed2014
- Write a biography for the WES ‘She’s an Engineer’ feature or blog about your work.
Events and activities like these will hopefully encourage women to see the great opportunities available to them, encourage more girls to consider engineering as a career and to spread the word that engineering offers as many opportunities for women as men.
It has never been more important to encourage young women to consider a career in engineering. With a shortage of skills in engineering becoming ever more prevalent the UK needs to double the number of recruits into engineering to meet demand.
At this present time only 7% of the engineering workforce is female, with the UK having the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe.
By encouraging girls into engineering careers we will not only be increasing diversity and inclusion, which is imperative in business, but also enable us to fill the substantial future job opportunities that have been predicted in this sector.
For more information about National Women in Engineering Day, organising an event or on going events go to www.nwed.org.uk and make sure you keep WES informed of all your activities and events at www.wes.org.uk/nwed