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A call to action for gender equality in engineering

The theme for 2024 is #enhancedbyengineering, focusing on profiling the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering.

A female engineer in a cleanroom. Image. — © Tim Sandle.
A female engineer in a cleanroom. Image. — © Tim Sandle.

Celebrated annually on June 23, International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is an international awareness campaign that highlights the achievements of women engineers and encourages more women to enter the field.

See, for example Digital Journal’s coverage of the 2023 event “STEM: Inspiring tales of women in engineering”.

The event was initially launched in the UK by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), since then the INWED enjoys global reach as well as UNESCO patronage.

Taking the UK, women remain severely underrepresented in engineering: just 12 percent of those working in engineering are female, compared with 47 percent of the overall UK workforce.

Each year, INWED organizes events and activities worldwide — the goal is to raise the profile of women in engineering. The activities span the globe — including but not limited to: US, UK, Canada, and Australia — showcasing educational opportunities, role models, and/or potential career paths, as well as the importance of diversity and equality in the workplace.

The theme for 2024 is #enhancedbyengineering, focusing on profiling the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering.

Ahead of the 2024 event, Digital Journal heard from one female engineer – Annemie Vanoosterhout, Release and Project Manager for Datadobi.

Vanoosterhout had this to say about this important day:

“As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, let’s take a moment to honour the remarkable achievements of women engineers around the world. This day is not just about recognition; it’s a call to action for gender equality in engineering.”

Vanoosterhout adds: “It’s essential for everyone, regardless of gender, to create inclusive workspaces. Remote work is one way to allow for more flexible hours and benefit women tasked with balancing their family life and their job responsibilities. However, the responsibility to challenge the status quo doesn’t solely lie with organizations as women, we must also push beyond perceived limitations.”

As to how this might be achieved, Vanoosterhout puts forward: “The key to accomplishing change is collaboration, and it should not be a solitary endeavour. Together, we can make a significant impact and pave the way for future generations of women engineers.”

Meanwhile, for this event, Vanoosterhout states: “Let’s celebrate this day by reaffirming our commitment to equality, empowerment, and excellence for all in engineering.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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