In the News
Inspiring Future Generations on INWED
Celebrating its 9th year, International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is a global celebration of women’s achievements in engineering. Held annually on June 23rd, INWED strives to empower women and girls by breaking down gender barriers and inspiring them to pursue careers in engineering.
Research reported by Engineering UK in 2022 revealed that women accounted for a mere 16.5% of UK engineers. While this percentage has increased from 10.5% in 2010, there is still a significant gender gap that needs to be addressed.
Lisa Bates, Teacher of Science at Hope Valley College believes historical and socially constructed ideas about narrowed gender roles have led to limited aspirations, capped potential and prejudiced views about subject and career choices. “It’s impossible to argue that gender discrimination in society doesn’t exist,” she says. ”Statements such as ‘man power’ and ‘cry like a girl’ are commonplace and often go unchallenged. Such statements often imply that girls are weak, or not as able as boys; we know this is not true, however our young people often absorb these implications as fact. The outcome of such unconscious bias can be devastating.
“A recent report by the Commons Science and Technology Committee looked at female underrepresentation in STEM subjects: young women still make up only 13% of computing A-Level students in England and 23% of physics.”
So what can be done? Eadon Director James Hill believes that early engagement can play a significant role in driving long-term change. “We should strive to inspire girls to embrace STEM subjects from a young age, and it’s equally important to continue fostering their enthusiasm throughout their school years,” he says. “By consistently encouraging and empowering them, we can ensure that girls, as well as boys, view STEM as a viable option when they reach higher education.”
Eadon engineer Consuelo Bottamedi thinks parents should also take responsibility for motivating their daughters. Reflecting on her own upbringing, she is grateful that her family were, perhaps unusually, open-minded and encouraged her to explore all possible opportunities available to her. “My father was a surveyor and loved his job. He would take me to construction sites, involve me in his drawings and play maths games with me,” she explains. “His influence sparked my passion for maths and physics and inspired me to pursue a career in engineering.”
At Eadon, we are committed to breaking down unconscious biases and empowering women and girls to pursue engineering. We want everyone to understand that engineering is a career open to all, regardless of gender. We will continue to spotlight successful female engineers, visit schools to share the exciting possibilities in engineering, and always encourage applications from women.