Supporting the gas industry since 1863
Sign In
Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Raising the bar for women engineers

As proud sponsors of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), we were privileged to attend the Women in Engineering Society's INWED18 Afternoon Tea and WE50 awards ceremony at the Royal Academy of Engineering on 26 June.

The event was attended by over 250 professionals who were involved in engineering from a range of sectors. We heard from many inspiring speakers, including Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Chief Executive from the Royal Academy of Engineering, Allan Cook CBE, Chairman of High Value Manufacturing Catapult and Benita Mehra, President of WES (Women's Engineering Society).

Dr Hayaatun presented the keynote speech and shared anecdotes of her experience as a female engineer. As a woman from a minority background, she recalled many instances where she was asked whether she was Dr Sillem's Personal Assistant.

Allan, who is also the Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA), emphasised how important it was to inspire children at a young age about the field of engineering to battle with the skills deficit.

Benita reflected Allan's message highlighting how important it was to encourage the next generation to take up the career opportunities in this exciting industry. She also stressed that engineers should make a point of being part of their relevant Institution, join technical panels and advance their career through professional registration.

Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive of WES, chaired the proceedings and highlighted the progress that has been made in increasing the amount of women in the engineering workforce. She also discussed WES' vision of having an engineering workforce comprising of 30% of females by 2030 in the UK. This would be more than double the current 12% of women that make up the engineering workforce.

This year's INWED events helped to raise the bar. There were 242 registered events worldwide and 2.5 million people were reached on social media, raising the profile of women in engineering and celebrating the exceptional accomplishments of female engineers across the globe.

Congratulations to the winners of the Top 50 Women in Engineering awards.

More details on INWED can be found here.