tag

Celebrating Women In Engineering

Energi People Insights, Engineering News, Market Insights

Celebrating Women In Engineering

This Friday, 23rd of June, we are celebrating Women in Engineering Day. While some may question the need for such a day, as equality should be the norm, it is essential to recognise the purpose behind this celebration.

Women in Engineering Day 2023

This Friday, 23rd of June, we are celebrating Women in Engineering Day. An occasion that highlights the accomplishments, contributions, and potential of women in the engineering field. While some may question the need for such a day, as equality should be the norm, it is essential to recognise the purpose behind this celebration.

Historical Gender Imbalance in Engineering

The gender imbalance in engineering is deeply rooted in historical stereotypes and social norms that discouraged women from pursuing careers. Traditionally perceived as a male-dominated profession, engineering faced a significant gender gap for decades. Companies used to use The Marriage Bar, a policy that required single women to resign from their job upon getting married and disqualified married women from applying for vacancies. These policies were in common use up until 1973!

Gender stereotypes and unconscious biases continue to persist to this day. Women in Engineering Day provides an opportunity to challenge these biases and showcase the incredible talent and expertise of women, promoting a more inclusive culture within engineering organisations.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion: Recognising Contributions

This celebration serves as a platform to promote diversity and inclusion within the engineering community. By celebrating the achievements of women engineers, we aim to inspire young girls and women to consider engineering as a career path. Highlighting the accomplishments of women in engineering, helps challenge preconceptions and encourages more women to pursue their passions in this field.

Women have made significant contributions to the engineering field throughout history, but their accomplishments often go unnoticed or underappreciated. This Day allows us to shine a spotlight on the achievements, innovative solutions and ground-breaking research demonstrated by women engineers. Some examples include:

Hedy Lamarr, a Hollywood actress and inventor, co-developed a frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology during World War II. This invention served as the foundation for modern-day technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Edith Clarke was the first female electrical engineer and the first female professor of electrical engineering. She made significant contributions, particularly in the areas of power system analysis and the development of graphical methods for solving power flow equations. This was all despite not being allowed to work as an Engineer at GE where she worked, until a few years later.

Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper system, which greatly improved visibility for drivers during inclement weather conditions. She was rejected several times, with automotive companies claiming the invention to be ‘impractical’. Her invention has since become an essential safety feature worldwide.

These are just a few examples among countless other women who have made significant contributions to the engineering field. Their achievements highlight the talents and capabilities of women, proving that gender should never be a barrier to success. Recognising their accomplishments not only boosts morale but also highlights the importance of diverse perspectives in driving progress and innovation.

Creating Supportive Networks and Mentorship Opportunities

Women in Engineering Day also serves as a platform to foster supportive networks and mentorship opportunities for women. It encourages collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and community building, enabling female engineers to connect with like-minded professionals, share experiences, and navigate the unique challenges they face. These networks and mentorship programmes play a vital role in empowering women and nurturing their professional growth. For example Energi People have set up  LinkedIn and Whatsapp groups for Women in MEP. This is where women can find a mentor, get career advice or simply get help with a challenge or work issue they are facing.

Conclusion

Women in Engineering Day celebrates the remarkable achievements of women in a profession historically dominated by men. By highlighting their contributions, we can challenge stereotypes, promote diversity and inclusion, and inspire future generations. While it is essential to strive for a future where such celebrations are no longer necessary, we must continue advocating for gender equality and creating an inclusive environment that empowers and uplifts women in engineering. Together, we can shape a more equitable and prosperous engineering industry that will benefit us all.

Further Reading:

Where can I found out more about Women in Engineering?

There are several associations with a link to Women in Engineering. WIBSE, Women in Engineering Society Or the SWE, Society of Women Engineers.