The 50 Women in Engineering campaign launched for the first time in 2016 and we are excited to recognise the achievements of these influential women in this way for the first time. The Daily Telegraph, in collaboration with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Prospect Union, Matchtech, Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) and Harvey Nash have been instrumental in bringing this campaign to life, and in 2016 it was generously sponsored by Scottish Power, Mars Petcare, Jaguar Land Rover, SEMTA, IET and BAE Systems.
Women engineers are a difficult group to engage with, not because there are relatively few of them, as you may think – indeed there are very many amazing women out there - but because women in engineering are often reluctant to put themselves forward for any special recognition. They often see themselves as engineers first and women – well, that’s irrelevant isn’t it? From our perspective though we MUST celebrate these women as role models for a number of reasons. One reason is that we need to raise the profiles of ALL engineers and we should never miss an opportunity to do this. Secondly we want women to achieve more of the senior boardroom positions in the engineering sector where they are even more scarce, and so this is a great way of identifying our high achievers. And thirdly, we need these women to be visible to the next generation of future engineers. Without these role models young girls don’t see themselves in these non-traditional careers, and whilst many of our successful women in engineering have found it relatively straightforward to progress in the engineering sector, very many other young women will not have the advantage of supportive schools, parents and peers, and it may only be by seeing these successful women that they have the inspiration to continue. So I am delighted that this list will make these women visible to others who may want to follow in their footsteps.
This campaign brings together not only women engineers but also women who are having an influence in the engineering sector. We strongly believe that engineering benefits from a strong and diverse team and we recognise that women and men sometimes have different roles within that team, but all are important for the engineering outcomes that we wish to achieve. So we are recognising this by naming some women who are not engineers by background who nevertheless are working successfully to advance the engineering sector.
The Daily Telegraph is coordinating the campaign and has long been the daily publication of choice in the engineering community and a go to for careers in the field. "The aim of the list is to increase awareness and change male dominated stereotypes of engineers. Confronting perceptions of men in hard hats on construction sites and showcasing the diverse contributions and occupations which women engineers engage every day in Aerospace to Construction to Technology"
"Girls in particular do not seem to think that engineering is a suitable career for them, despite their achievements in maths and science at school. It is very frustrating to be facing a shortage of engineering skills when so few women enter the profession. Only 7% of engineering professionals in the UK are female, and the proportion is even lower for engineering apprentices." (BBC - Why engineering should be a woman's game, 2015)
In collaboration with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Prospect Union, Matchtech, Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) and Harvey Nash, a framework for a Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering campaign to bring attention to and publicise the great things which women routinely achieve within engineering to both recognise women currently in the profession and inspire a new generation of women into engineering.
The list will be drawn from public nominations and a panel of judges will be selected from the partners and sponsors of the event.
If you are interested in nominating a candidate for consideration, please sign up to the WES newsletter to be kept informed of the nomination process.