Press release

IET joins the industry in celebrating the achievements of female engineers

23 June 2015

Today, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) will be supporting National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) to celebrate the achievements of females working in the industry.

The day, which takes place on 23 June 2015 and is set up by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), is dedicated to not only celebrating the achievements of females already in the industry, but promoting the exciting career pathways open to young women considering their future career options.

The importance of this year’s day comes into even sharper focus with recent IET research stating that only 7 per cent of UK parents stating that engineering would appeal to their daughters.

In addition, the research released to mark the launch of the IET’s ‘Engineer a Better World’ campaign also revealed that parents could be limiting their child’s future career decisions by having outdated perceptions of the jobs they think boys and girls are interested in. Parents of girls in particular stated that they thought their daughters would be most interested in education and childcare careers (32 per cent), as well as arts based careers (29 per cent), healthcare (26 per cent) and hair and beauty (23 per cent).

NWED will see a number of events taking place across the UK which will give girls and women the opportunity to find out more about the industry and the opportunities it offers females. All of these events will support the industry in attracting fresh new talent to the sector whilst also promoting inclusion and increased diversity of the workforce.

As well as supporting NWED, the IET is also making a last call for entries to its annual Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards 2015 with entries needed before the deadline on Friday 26 June.

Naomi Climer, IET President-elect, said: “Engineering has a massive impact on our day-to-day lives, from the transport we use to get to various destinations, right down to the smaller, but equally innovative gadgets we use in our work and leisure time like mobile phones and Ipads. In order to keep the engineering industry vibrant and fresh with innovative ideas we need to ensure that our workforce is diverse. National Women in Engineering Day gives our industry the perfect opportunity to not only celebrate the achievements of women already working in engineering, but also to encourage and inform more women and girls about the rewarding careers on offer.

“The research conducted by the IET to launch its ‘Engineer a Better World’ clearly shows that there is a real need to change perceptions of what engineering can offer women. It’s by supporting events like NWED and the IET’s very own Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards that we aim to raise the profile of engineering and give them the role models they need for inspiration when on the path to pursuing a successful career in engineering.”

Female engineers, from those starting degrees to world-renowned scientists are all celebrating NWED and IET’s Female Faces of Engineering – championing and encouraging more girls to join the sector. They include:

Abbie Hutty, Engineer at Airbus Defence and Space – As a spacecraft structures engineer, Abbie is currently working on the ExoMars Rover Mission, Europe’s first rover mission to Mars. Abbie didn’t find her chosen path until after finishing her GCSE’s in which she excelled at Maths and physics. Her inspiration for space exploration came when seeing media coverage of the Beagle 2 mission to Mars in 2003. Having completed her A Levels, Abbie went on to take a place at the University of Surrey, completing an Undergraduate Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a module in Robotics and Space.

In her current role she coordinates a team of specialists that are working on developing a rover structure that will survive the rigors of a rocket launch and descent through Mars’ atmosphere, landing on its surface and lasting the operational lifetime of the mission.

Naomi Mitchison, engineer at Selex ES – As well as winning the IET Young Woman of the Year award in 2014, Naomi currently works as a senior hardware engineer at Selex ES a specialist electronics and information technologies producer for defence systems, aerospace, data, and infrastructure. Naomi’s biggest achievement to date has been her work on the Advanced Laser Warner project, which is a technology used to detect laser based threats to aircraft.

As well as her day job Naomi also channels her passion for engineering by chairing the IET’s Young Professional committee for Scotland South East as well as working as a STEM Ambassador In this role she’s able to use the skills she’s gained in the past when she worked with children as an au pair, and a teacher.

Chloe Adams-Pickford, IET Diamond Jubilee Scholar – Chloe, a general engineering student from Sheffield, hadn’t always intended on becoming an engineer. When she was younger she wanted to become a marine biologist owing to her love of David Attenborough and his wildlife documentaries. However, having visited Florida and its famous NASA Space Centre, Chloe quickly grew to realise her passion for engineering and her desire to one day build rockets.

At school Chloe studied a wide range of STEM subjects including A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Having successfully completed her A Levels, she went on to take up a place at the University of Oxford where she now studies Engineering Science with the support of the IET through its Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Programme.

Eleanor Stride, Engineer and University of Oxford Professor – Eleanor is a biomedical engineer and Professor at the University of Oxford. She also recently won £300,000 for research as a winner of the IET’s A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize.

As a biomedical engineer Eleanor has driven research concerning the treatment of major diseases including cancer and strokes, where drugs are highly targeted to specific parts of the body, minimising exposure of healthy tissue. Her continued research is likely to reduce serious side effects and increase the number of patients eligible for treatments.

For more information about National Women in Engineering Day visit: www.wes.org.uk/nwed or to enter a candidate for the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards 2015 visit: conferences.theiet.org/ywe/

Media enquiries:

Rebecca Gillick

Communications Executive

Tel: +44 (0)1438 765 618
Email: rgillick@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 163,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.