Wing Commander Glynis Dean has been awarded one of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year prizes.
Glynis is a role model who champions gender diversity within engineering and was presented with the IET’s first Gender Diversity Ambassador Award at the prestigious IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards ceremony in the heart of London last night.
Leading the Royal Air Force Youth and Diversity Team, Glynis was among the first to recognise that a growing gap in the availability of STEM skills nationally would impact the long-term future of the RAF.
Glynis was nominated by her RAF colleagues for being an inspiration and for making a significant contribution to the engineering gender diversity arena by attracting and retaining women in engineering.
This new award follows the 40-year anniversary of the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year and has been created in recognition of an individual’s hard work in achieving gender equality within the engineering industry. The award aims to showcase innovation and good practice to compliment the YWE Awards, by recognising the support and encouragement of women in STEM careers.
The work Glynis does means that women can thrive in STEM. On winning, she said: “I am honoured and delighted to be the first recipient of this award. Improving the gender balance in engineering is a marathon rather than a sprint, requiring commitment, drive and staying power.
“I have had the privilege of working with amazing and like-minded individuals within the RAF and with colleagues in industry, academia and professional bodies. I see this award as very much a team effort. Thank you, IET.”
These prestigious engineering industry awards celebrate women working in modern engineering – and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and dirty overalls.
As well as highlighting female engineering talent, the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards seek to find role models who can help address the UK science and engineering skills crisis by promoting engineering careers to more girls and women. Just 12% of those working in engineering and technical occupations are women (source: Engineering UK).
Other winners of the night included Ying Wan Loh (28), who won the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award, Dr Claire Lucas (33), who won the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) Prize and Samantha Magowan (21), who won the IET Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices. Finalists Charlotte Buffey, Amber O’Connor and Shrouk El-Attar were all highly commended.
Jo Foster, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the IET, said: “I’d like to congratulate our fantastic winners and finalists of this year’s awards. They are a real credit to the engineering profession and will make excellent role models to young girls who might be thinking about a career in engineering and technology.
“It’s vital we champion engineering careers to the next generation – it’s a diverse, creative and exciting career, which offers the opportunity to do something life – or even – world-changing.”
Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Rt Hon Chris Skidmore added: “It is crucial that we recognise the importance of this industry in advancing society and economic growth. Boosting engineering is a top priority for the Government, and it is events like this that are helping to transform our agenda on this topic.
“I would like to congratulate all nominees and winners for taking part in this year’s awards. As some of the most promising young women in the UK, you are truly inspirational role models for women across the country. You should all take great pride in everything you have achieved.”
The winners were announced at the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony on 5 December at IET London: Savoy Place.
This year’s YWE Awards are being sponsored by Analog Devices, BAE Systems, Boeing, BP, BT, Collins Aerospace, Frazer-Nash, GCHQ, GKN Driveline, Leonardo, MBDA, Ofcom, Protolabs, RAF, Royal Mail, RS Components, Teledyne e2v and Wiley.
To find out more information, please visit the IET YWE website.