With men holding the majority of roles within engineering and applied sciences, it is crucial that they are involved in making the cultural changes needed to attract and retain women in engineering and applied sciences. The Men as Allies Award, launched in 2017, seeks to celebrate a male engineer, or professional male working within the engineering, technical and applied sciences sectors, who has gone above the call of duty to support his female colleagues and address the gender imbalance within these fields.
Many congratulations to our 2021 winner, Dr Andy Palmer, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Switch Mobility. A world-renowned automotive leader, Dr Palmer has actively addressed gender imbalances while transforming global brands such as Nissan and Aston Martin. The founder of the Palmer Foundation, an organisation which champions apprenticeships for disadvantaged youths, he has acted as a mentor to female engineers and driven cultural change in the automation industry through his progressive approach and work on intersectional issues affecting gender.
WES Trustee and Head Judge Susan Robson said:
“The importance of allyship in addressing issues of inequality cannot be underestimated and is a key tool in our mission to create an engineering industry that reflects the society it serves. In allies, we observe the marks of the best kind of leadership: the ability to empathise with those whose lived experiences are not those of our own and the recognition that strong teams are made up of individuals with diverse strengths.
“It is therefore with great pleasure that we read this year’s entries for the WES Men As Allies award, and with a huge sense of pride that WES is in a position to recognise the good work being done. Our winners haven’t just been good managers or colleagues – a bar we thankfully acknowledge as low – but have demonstrated the willingness to look beyond their own story, recognise barriers experienced by others and reach in to offer practical, and impressive, support. Thank you to all our entrants on behalf of WES, the individuals you have helped and the allies of tomorrow for whom you act as role models.”