Today (8 March) the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has launched its 2016 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards (YWE) and is urging successful young female engineers to enter.
The awards will recognise their talent and professionalism demonstrating to young women and girls across the UK that engineering is a diverse and exciting industry, offering creative and challenging careers.
Recognising and celebrating outstanding female engineers has never been so important, the IET says. Recent statistics from its Skills and Demand in Industry Survey (2015) showed that women represent just 9% of the UK’s engineering workforce.
The 2016 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards are all about raising the profile of today’s most impressive female engineers, celebrating their successes, and encouraging them to become role models to inspire the next generation of female engineers and help to address the gender imbalance in engineering and science.
Former winners of the awards include Orla Murphy, an audio engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, Naomi Mitchison, a senior hardware engineer at Selex ES and Abbie Hutty, a spacecraft engineer currently working on Europe’s first Rover mission to Mars.
President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Naomi Climer, said: “Women are woefully underrepresented in engineering. In a profession with a serious skills shortage, this represents a problem for the economy as well as for diversity.
“To coincide with International Women’s Day, we want to make it clear that engineering is a fantastic career for women. Not only that – but there are thousands of female engineers doing amazing things in everything from healthcare technology to space exploration.”
She continued: “The Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards showcase some of the best female engineering talent in this country, hopefully encouraging girls – and boys – to get excited about the possibilities of an engineering career.”
Current IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Orla Murphy, said: “My favourite subjects at school were music, maths and physics, so by doing engineering I was able to combine all of those subjects into a degree and now a job that I absolutely love.
“By winning the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award, I have been given the opportunity to be an ambassador for women in engineering and to showcase the capability of women in the sector, as well as raise the profile for women in the industry.”
The deadline for entry to the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards is 30 June 2016. For more information visit www.theiet.org/ywe.