Founded by the Women's Engineering Society in 2016, the WE50 awards are a UK event linked to
International Women in Engineering Day (INWED)– the celebration of women in engineering that takes place on 23 June each year.
In association with The Guardian newspaper and Assystem, the 2021 Top 50 Women in Engineering will celebrate the Engineering Heroes:
the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, who recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution;
who undertake everyday ‘heroics’ as much as emergency ones.
Derived from the Greek word hērōs, "hero" literally means "protector" or "defender" and in 2020-21 engineers around the world have played a major role in protecting and defending us from the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, the extraordinary public health crisis we are experiencing has brought into sharp focus how engineers also deliver and maintain critical services and infrastructure, keep civic society functioning at every level, and support lives and livelihoods. And let's not forget those engineers who also undertake world-leading research and innovation to tackle the long-term, structural global challenges of our time, especially climate change.
Nominations can be made using the Nomination Form at the bottom of this page. Nominations close at noon on Monday 15 March 2021.
2021 criteria for nomination
We are celebrating women who have improved engineering in service of our society. These individuals may be involved in designing, delivering, developing, maintaining or researching engineering in the following circumstances:
- Emergency response to immediate need, for example, the pandemic, natural/manufactured disasters, search and rescue
- Improvements to the social or environmental impact of infrastructure designed to keep the public safe, for example, building and road safety, energy, telecoms and water services
- Life-saving medical response, whether by means of diagnostics, devices, medication or equipment, for example, pharmaceutical drugs, tests and vaccines, hospital diagnostic equipment such as x-rays and scanners, surgical tools, protective equipment, including clothing and masks
- Responding to the climate and biodiversity emergencies
Essential Criteria – all nominees must satisfy these:
- A woman
- Based in the UK - nominees do not have to be UK citizens
- Not a previous WE50 winner
- Acting as an advocate for women in work and STEM
- Studying or working in engineering industries and allied sectors, engineering education, or engineering research
- Achieving beyond what would normally be expected for career stage - nominations welcome at all career stages
You can nominate your Engineering Hero using the Nomination Form here and at the bottom of the page. We welcome those who nominate themselves, so put yourself forward.
Hints & tips on writing a great awards application
Important WE50 dates
5 May 2021 – #WE50 winners notified
23 June 2021 – #WE50 winners announced!
Previous WE50 Award Themes
When publicising the WE50 please use the following hashtags: #WE50 #INWED21 #EngineeringHeroes and tag the Twitter accounts @WES1919 and @INWED1919.
Please NOTE: The form does NOT send an acknowledgement email. When you click "Submit" it should acknowledge submission at this point.