Coming up on Friday 23rd June is International Women in Engineering Day. Run each year by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), this is its 10th year promoting the amazing work that women engineers across the globe are doing.
International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is an annual celebration that aims to raise awareness about the achievements of women in engineering and encourage more female participation in this traditionally male-dominated field. As we celebrate INWED 2023, it is essential to recognize the significant strides women have made in engineering and inspire female university students studying engineering to pursue and persist in their careers.
“This year’s theme is #MakeSafetySeen. INWED gives women engineers around the world a profile when they are still hugely under-represented, with 2021 figures indicating that in the UK only 16.5% of engineers are women. As the only platform of its kind, it plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers.”
Diversity for Innovation
Diversity is the cornerstone of innovation and progress in engineering. When diverse voices and perspectives come together, ground-breaking ideas emerge. By encouraging more women to pursue engineering, we foster an environment where multiple viewpoints are valued, and new solutions are discovered. Female engineers bring unique skills, experiences, and ideas to the table, contributing to a more inclusive and creative industry. Embracing diversity is not just the right thing to do; it is also a strategic advantage that drives success and ensures engineering meets the needs of all people.
Enhancing workplace safety: Women engineers have played a pivotal role in improving workplace safety across various industries. Their attention to detail and risk assessment skills have resulted in the development of safer work environments and protocols. For example, female engineers have contributed to the design and implementation of ergonomic workstations, personal protective equipment (PPE), and safety protocols that reduce occupational hazards and prevent injuries.
Addressing healthcare disparities: Women engineers have made remarkable contributions to the healthcare sector by addressing gender-specific health issues and promoting better healthcare outcomes for women. For instance, female biomedical engineers have pioneered advancements in breast cancer detection techniques, designing more accurate and less invasive diagnostic tools. They have also played a significant role in developing medical devices tailored to women’s unique needs, such as implantable devices and prosthetics.
Designing products for diverse users: Women engineers often bring a unique perspective to product design, considering the needs and experiences of diverse users. For example, female engineers have played a crucial role in developing ergonomic designs for tools, equipment, and workstations, ensuring comfort and safety for a wider range of users. Their attention to detail and understanding of different body types and abilities have led to more inclusive and user-friendly products.
Sustainable and environmentally conscious engineering: Women engineers have been at the forefront of sustainable and environmentally conscious engineering practices. Their holistic and interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving has led to innovative solutions in renewable energy, waste management, and resource conservation. Women engineers have championed the development of clean technologies, energy-efficient systems, and sustainable infrastructure, contributing to a more eco-friendly and sustainable future.
Women’s unique outlook in engineering has had a profound impact on various aspects of the field, including product design, healthcare, sustainability, workplace safety, and infinitely more. By embracing their distinct perspectives and experiences, women engineers have transformed the industry, driving innovation and creating a more inclusive and equitable engineering landscape. To all the aspiring female engineers out there, remember that your contributions are vital to the future of engineering. Embrace your passion, shatter stereotypes, and persevere in the face of challenges.
Follow International Women in Engineering Day on social media and show your support and activities with the hashtags #makesafetyseen and #INWED23.