Press release

Young female engineers make national final and get set to inspire more girls to become engineers

10 October 2016

Five young female engineers working on projects ranging from the next generation of submarine software and aircraft components to the latest in car safety and network security have all been shortlisted for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards 2016.

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engineering – and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and greasy pipes.

Nadia Johnson (20), Jenni Sidey (28), Bethan Murray (23), Gemma Dalziel (23) and Emma Wilding (22) have all been shortlisted for awards.

  • Nadia Johnson is a Software Engineer Degree Apprentice at Thales UK currently working on the latest submarine software and SONAR processing. 
  • Jenni Sidey is a lecturer in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge currently working on the development of the latest low emission combustion devices for use in the transportation and energy sectors. 
  • Bethan Murray is a Manufacturing Systems Lead at Rolls-Royce Plc working on the systems that aid the manufacture of the latest aircraft components.
  • Gemma Dalziel is an Apprentice Network Consulting Engineer at Cisco working on network technologies and network security.
  • Emma Wilding crashes cars for a living, testing the latest car safety features as a Vehicle Safety Engineer (Degree Apprentice) at Jaguar Land Rover. 

As well as highlighting female engineering talent, the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards seek to find female role models who can help address the UK science and engineering skills crisis by promoting engineering careers to  more girls and women. Women currently represent only 9 per cent of the engineering workforce in the UK (source: 2016 IET Skills Survey), the lowest percentage in Europe.

To help inspire the next generation of female engineers and to raise awareness of these awards, the IET has launched a new social media campaign, asking female engineers to share a photo of themselves at work with 9% written on their hand using the hashtag #9percentisnotenough.

Naomi Climer, outgoing IET President, said: “Engineering is a fantastic career – it’s diverse and exciting with the opportunity to do something life- or world-changing. But the lack of women in the sector is a huge problem.

“The difficulty in attracting women into engineering is down to a combination of things, including the image of engineers within the UK, careers advice girls are given in schools and the way that companies with engineering roles advertise their opportunities.

“It’s also a result of the lack of engineering role models for girls, which is why our Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards are all about finding role models to get girls – and young people in general – excited and inspired about a career in engineering.

“So I’d like to congratulate Nadia, Jenni, Bethan, Gemma and Emma for making the final five and in helping to demonstrate the tremendous female engineering talent in our industry today.”

The winner will be announced at the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony on 1 December at IET London: Savoy Place.  

Notes to editors:

For more information, visit www.theiet.org/ywe