Women in Engineering!

From a young age, I’ve always believed whatever career you chose was because you had a passion for it. Even before starting at ASDEC, I didn’t think of Engineering as a ‘men only’ industry; I never considered the daily struggle of women who feel they’re not cut out to be part of it. I did however think Engineering only meant working with machines and wearing a yellow or blue hat. But there’s a wide range of Engineering sectors you can work in! So why is it that some genderise Engineering?

The bad and the good, good, good!

Bad news is, according to the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) 2014 statistics, only “6% of the engineering workforce in the UK is female.” The good news is that this figure is slowly but surely increasing.  There are so many benefits and opportunities in Engineering. Women in Engineering Fun Facts
* See full salary list here.
**See full list of the 40 different types of engineering degrees here.
Isn’t that great?! You can find a whole range of fun facts of powerful women in engineering here. The Guardian recently announced Engineering as the “happiest job in the world.” BP Engineering Manager, Dr Esther Hills, says her role “offers something different day-to-day.” Read more about why her job in Engineering makes her so happy.

Raising awareness

Upon learning more about the industry I became aware of the amazing and powerful women in Engineering in the past and present. From Mary Anderson: the inventor of the windshield wiper in 1903; Ada Lovelace: the world’s first computer programmer and one of the biggest inspirations in STEM; and Amy Johnson: the pioneering aviator who was the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia, to a great list of incredible women in Engineering now that you too could be inspired by. If you have a passion for engineering, why not follow your dreams? Don’t let others tell you “you can’t be an Engineer”. Read what top architect and RIBA president elect, Jane Duncan, did when she was told “Architecture wasn’t for girls.” Famous architect, Julia Morgan, had designed over 700 buildings in California and was best known for her Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. She became the first woman architect licensed in California and the first woman to receive the AIA Gold Medal. Safe to say Julia Morgan may have been an inspiration for current successful architects such as Dang Qun, Principal Partner at MAD, a very famous and respected architect studio in China. MAD are well known for their futuristic designs, and have currently joined hands with Engineering to work on a highly-anticipated project, the Pingtan Art Museum. Dang plays a vital role in the creations by the establishment. Learn more about Dang’s wide range of achievements and abilities. Thanks to Twitter trends, there are numerous appreciation and support movements. One of my favourites this year was the National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) held in June by WES. The purpose of this day is to raise the profile and celebrate achievements of women in Engineering.
WES believe: By encouraging girls into Engineering careers we will not only be increasing diversity and inclusion – a business imperative – but enabling us to fill the substantial future job opportunities that have been predicted in this sector” (Learn more).
NWED is a great way to showcase and recognise women in engineering, their success stories, and inspire future female engineers. Being involved in the Engineering industry, our Twitter account @ASDEC_Research actively joined in with this great cause, using the hashtag #NWED2015 to help make (young) women aware and motivated about joining the world of Engineering – It was inspirational, educational, and we received a brilliant response.
ASDEC Director, Professor Sarah Hainsworth, says: I am constantly surprised that there are not more women in engineering.  There are a diverse range of topics and subjects that engineers are engaged in; it pays the second highest starting salary to medicine and dentistry.  The skills that girls have in creativity, organisation, people management and passion for their subject are exactly the skills that make for great engineers. ASDEC’s Finance and Quality Officer, Moira Cooper, adds: Being in a support role within the Engineering industry, I am always really impressed by women engineers, and how they bring out the best in those around them.  Women have a very different perspective on solving problems, and are often the catalysts to creating really innovative and elegant solutions.
Many campaigns, causes, and companies have sprung into action to raise awareness, gain equal opportunities, and attract more females into STEM subjects, such as HeForShe and STEM Women, who encourage women to break stereotypes and choose the industry they wish. Did you know University of Leicester is one of only ten worldwide to be selected to work as active partners with the HeForShe campaign?
Paul Boyle’s (Pres. & VC of University of Leicester) view and support for HeForShe: “Men and women have a joint responsibility to achieve gender equality for societies around the world. We should aim to deliver fundamental change within a generation, so that organisations such as HeForShe become redundant and my two daughters and two sons take it for granted that they will be judged on their merits, not their gender.” [Source: http://www.heforshe.org/impact/paul-boyle/

Get involved

Get your calendars out! The next NWED is being held on 23rd June 2016. You too can get involved and help increase the percentage of women in STEM by sharing and encouraging others every day. Trends and follows… Be inspired. Join in and share your stories and support. The good stuff doesn’t stop there! There are also many awards for the appreciation of women in STEM.
I now truly believe that if passion for Engineering is there with a dash of creativity, anything is possible! If you have a passion for engineering, go for it – don’t let anyone or anything stop you from following your dreams. Engineering should never be genderised – there is a wide range of engineering sectors to choose from and be a successful Engineer. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next female engineer to inspire others into the world of Engineering…(and also use the phrase “Trust me, I’m an Engineer”)  Share this blog with your fellow colleagues, family, and friends. Help raise awareness and encourage women to join the world of Engineering. Let us know about your stories; share your experience in the comments section below.
Further reading:
http://www.iveyengineering.com/famous-female-engineers/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/education/stem-awards/12005798/tackling-engineering-stereotypes.html
http://www.ecnmag.com/blog/2015/05/stem-dominates-forbes-most-powerful-women-list

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