Celebrating the achievements of female engineers

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is supporting National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) to celebrate the achievements of females working in the industry.

The day is set up by the Women's Engineering Society and 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.

Recent IET research states that only 7% of UK parents say 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a Better World' campaign also revealed that parents could be limiting their child's future career decisions by having outdated perceptions of the jobs they think boys and girls are interested in.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%), as well as arts based careers (29%), healthcare (26%) and hair and beauty (23%).

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. These events will support the industry in attracting new talent to the sector whilst also promoting inclusion and increased diversity of the workforce.

Claire McKee is a mature student who has just finished a degree in Mechanical engineering and wants to do a PhD in computational thermo-dynamics, based on noise reduction in jet engines.

After being made redundant from her apprenticeship 10 years ago she became a hairdresser, but the passion for engineering never left and, this year, she led a team from the University of Derby to Rotterdam to take part in the Shell Eco-Marathon - taking on the roles of team leader, designer, mechanic and driver.

Keen to encourage other females to pursue career opportunities in engineering, McKee said: "Don't be put off by stereotypes or being in a male dominated industry. Sometimes being in the minority can be as positive thing, it means you stand out and are more likely to be listened to. It's never too late to do something outside of your comfort zone."

Claire McKee (left) and the University of Derby's Shell Ecdo-Marathon team

As well as supporting NWED, 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.