Women in engineering have changed the world, despite being largely underrepresented in the field. From Edith Clarke to the women who are making real world change right now, the number of women in engineering is slowly growing, but more efforts are needed to accelerate this growth.
International Women in Engineering Day offers us all the chance to consider the barriers faced by women in Engineering and those looking to enter into it.
In 1919 World War One ended and Britain rejoiced as men began returning home after years at war. However, women who’d been working on developing munitions, building aircrafts and tanks suddenly found themselves being ousted. They were being pushed back into the role of a homemaker. This led to The Women’s Engineering Society, a charity promoting the inclusion of women in engineering, being founded.
Since then, things have drastically improved for women hoping to pursue engineering:
A study on engineering students revealed 20% of engineers graduating today are women, yet almost half of them choose not to enter the industry.
Understanding what’s stopping them from achieving this is important, because when we diversify an industry, we pave the way for creativity to seep in. By encouraging more women to become engineers, we create a wider pool of individuals who have unique and diverse experiences. This means there’s more opportunity for new perspectives to bring effective collaboration, innovation and advancement to the industry.
Whilst there is still work to do to break down the barriers women face when it comes to a career in engineering, the number of women in engineering is on the rise! Now, more than ever, young women are encouraged to pursue their love of STEM fields.