Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2024

International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) 2024, celebrated on 23 June, honours the achievements and contributions of women engineers globally. This day celebrates women in engineering and encourages the next generation of female engineers.

What are the challenges women face in the engineering industry?

As of the latest data available in 2023, women make up about 16.5% of engineers in the UK. While this percentage has been increasing gradually over the years, it still highlights the gender gap in the engineering field. This figure can vary slightly depending on the source and the specific definition of engineering roles included in the statistics.

Women often face multiple barriers and challenges in the engineering world. These can include gender stereotypes, unconscious bias, lack of role models and more severely harassment and discrimination. At school, girls are often not actively supported to study science or seek a career in the engineering industry compared to their male counterparts. Many women may not think they are qualified or suitable for a role in the first place – which is why promotion of inclusion is so important.

Efforts to increase the number of female engineers in the UK include initiatives by organisations such as the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and campaigns like “Tomorrow’s Engineers.” These initiatives aim to encourage more young women to pursue engineering careers through outreach, education, and support programmes.

Workplace culture has a huge impact on whether people apply and ultimately stay in a role. Understanding that colleagues may need flexible working hours around children can go a long way to support a positive culture. Workplace policies around parenting can create a secure environment for colleagues to balance work and their children’s needs.

Providing ongoing professional development opportunities, including leadership training and technical skill enhancement, to support career growth for women engineers.

Implement regular feedback mechanisms such as surveys and focus groups to understand the experiences of female engineers and identify areas for improvement.

How can I get involved?

As we celebrate INWED 2024, we are reminded that engineering is not just about building and innovation; it is about building a better, more inclusive world. By supporting and encouraging women in engineering, we pave the way for a future where diversity and collaboration drive technological advancement and societal progress.

You can find information on how to get involved with INWED, including an event schedule, on the INWED website.

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