National Women in Engineering Day 2016 is all about raising profiles and showcasing why engineering is a great career for women.
Thursday the 23rd of June isn’t just about the UK’s EU Referendum. In fact, there’s something happening on Thursday that it would be remiss of us to overlook, or let be completely overshadowed by the vote – National Women in Engineering Day 2016.
Building on Success
NWED 2016 is aiming to build on last year’s success, when over 400 organisations, including schools, colleges, universities and industry bodies, from across the world, got together to celebrate achievements of women engineers, and encourage more girls and women to consider a career in engineering.
But first, a bit of background. The first National Women in Engineering Day was set up by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) as part of its 95th anniversary celebrations. The society wanted to highlight the opportunities available for women in engineering, at a time where the industry was suffering from a skills shortage.
The WES felt that by encouraging more girls and women into engineering, it would help to improve diversity, fill the skills gap and enable the industry to cope better with future job requirements. NWED was created to support this aim, allowing organisations to set up their own events, and link together with others in order to maximise the impact of the message.
Importance of Raising Profiles
The sub-theme for this year’s NWED is ‘Raising Profiles’, something the organisers see as key to bringing more women into the profession.
Alongside the publication of the ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering‘ list in Thursday’s Daily Telegraph, institutions are being encourage to share the profiles of their female engineers, their stories and achievements.
Raising Profiles is also about changing the perceptions of engineering as a male-dominated, physical, dirty work, and showcasing the reality that not only are women just as capable as engineers as their male counterparts, but there are already examples of where women are succeeding at the top of the profession.
You can read about just a few great examples here.
While it might be a bit late to organise your own NWED 2016 event, there are still plenty of ways you can get involved:
- Visit a local university to highlight engineering as a career
- Make a plan to increase your corporate diversity and launch it today
- Raise the profile and celebrate the achievements of your female engineers
- Feature an article in your newsletter or on your website about your female engineers
- Follow events, and help promote the cause, on social media at @, and by using the hashtags #NWED2016 and #RaisingProfiles
Why Spread the Word?
You might be wondering why Procurious are profiling National Women in Engineering Day when we aren’t an engineering-related platform.
Well, besides it being a great campaign to get behind, it’s clear there is still work to be done. It’s estimated that the gender gap in engineering subjects has doubled in the past eight years.
Even with the awareness of NWED increasing, it can still fall victim to a lack of time for organisations to support it fully. As one female engineer at a global engineering organisation put it to us, “Personally I would love to see more support for it. I have supported the event in previous years and it is excellent. Unfortunately ‘business pressures’ tend to get in the way of greater support.”
We also firmly believe that procurement and supply chain could, and perhaps should, follow suit with similar events for this profession. After all, why should raising profiles be limited to engineering. We’ve talked previously about women in supply chain, and gender diversity, and NWED is a great example of getting a wide group of people involved in a common cause.
Isn’t it time to take a positive stance in procurement and supply chain? Procurious can provide the platform – can you provide the support?