Today is International Women’s Day, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
A day that has been celebrated internationally for more than 40 years – I think it is important to celebrate this day now more than ever.
As the first female President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, it is a great honour to be at the forefront of an international organisation. But it has taken 144 years for this to happen.
Analysis by the Royal Academy of Engineering suggests we will need more than a million new engineers and technicians by 2020 to fulfil demand, so improving our gender diversity – and indeed our diversity more generally in engineering – has a strong economic motivation.
Only nine percent of engineers in the UK today are women, and yet the variety of creative and stimulating careers available to women in modern engineering is vast.
So how do we make the next generation of career women aware of the exciting opportunities in engineering open to them?
One way is by recognising and celebrating the women that already work in the industry – which is the main aim of the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards, which opens for entries today.
By celebrating these women and making them role models, we can hopefully inspire other girls and women into the profession.
I can honestly say that working as a female engineer is one of the most exciting, fast-moving and challenging places to be at the moment – but I want to motivate other women to share my passion and come and join me.
Institution of Engineering and Technology