Ruth Carter

Member of Directors’ Committee
BSc (Hons) MSc

I graduated in Biochemistry in 1968 and then trained as a systems analyst.  Two years later I was teaching Systems Analysis in the Department of Computing and Cybernetics at Brighton Polytechnic (now Brighton University).  Conscious that I had no qualification in this field, I did an MSc in Systems at Aston University which led me away from computing towards General Systems Theory, enabling me to become a part-time tutor on newly developed Open University (OU) Systems courses.  By 1979 I was working full time for the OU as a Staff Tutor in Technology in the Yorkshire Region, responsible for recruiting and supporting tutors and students across the wide range of Technology Faculty courses, eventually retiring in 2009.

From those early days in Brighton I was aware of the absence of women students and staff in engineering and technology and, as a committed feminist active in the Women’s Movement, I needed to do whatever I could to tackle each situation that emerged.  Thus began lifelong activism in combatting bias and prejudice against women in non-traditional fields and trying to smooth their education and career paths.  In 1985-86 I had a sabbatical in the USA where I researched American schemes to support women in engineering, making delightful contacts with our sister organisation, the American Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and collecting many useful ideas for new initiatives.

I joined WES in 1984 and was on the Editorial Board of The Woman Engineer 1990-2009 and Council 2009-13.  In 2018 I returned to Council to celebrate the following  100th anniversary year and now continue as a member of the Membership Directors' Committee.

Ruth Carter