National Women in Engineering Day was set up by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary and to encourage all groups (Governmental, educational, corporate, Professional Engineering Institutions, individuals and other organisations) to organise their own events in support of the day.
The 3rd annual National Women in Engineering Day campaign (#NWED2016) supported by UNESCO, took place on 23 June 2016. Despite the date coinciding with the EU Referendum, it was nevertheless another huge success with record levels of engagement and impact. Schools, colleges, universities, industry bodies and individual engineers all over the world uniting in the name of Diversity and Inclusion to celebrate the great achievements of women engineers and encourage more girls and women to consider engineering as a career. The Women’s Engineering Society again coordinated communications for the day, but its success was down to engagement and support of the organisers and participants on the day right across the UK.
The theme for 2016 was ‘Raising Profiles’, and it was under this banner that an inaugural list of the Top 50 Women in Engineering was launched, in collaboration with the Telegraph and partners The IET, Scottish Power, Jaguar Land Rover, Prospect Union, Mars Petcare, SEMTA and BAE Systems. AMPS invited its members to nominate and vote for women engineers and the final top 50 includes many familiar senior engineers’ names such as Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Naomi Climer, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, former Chair of the Health and Safety Executive and now Chair of EEF the Manufacturers’ Organisation. It also, however, includes some names that may come as a surprise, including Steph McGovern from BBC Breakfast, a former engineer who continues to do a huge amount to encourage the next generation into engineering, and Chi Onwurah MP – the only female engineer in the House of Commons. The full list can be viewed at www.nwed.org.uk
Cummins sponsor NWED 2016
As one of the 2016 sponsors, employees from Cummins Power Generation (CPG) stayed busy by working across sites in Kent, Peterborough and Stamford, England in support of the Cummins Women in Technology (CWiT) forum, an initiative championed by Cummins’ Chief Technical Officer, John Wall. Their aim? To encourage careers in STEM and promote opportunities for women in engineering.
“The work we are doing with CWiT to promote and encourage engineering as a viable and profitable career, particularly to females who are under-represented in science based careers, is crucial not only to the success of Cummins but to the engineering profession,” said Lowell Siewert – Chief Engineer Cummins Power Generation. “CWiT enables us to take the focus beyond diversity to inclusion for existing and future employees by introducing the engineering opportunity to our employees of tomorrow.”
Leading up to the day a team of dedicated Cummins volunteers, including leaders in technology, engineering, human resources, local affinity groups and community involvement teams, worked together on developing ideas in partnership with education and society to attract female technical talent. Then, on the day, Cummins employees volunteered at several event stands that were deployed at company facilities, handing out materials about women in engineering. Additional events were held to raise awareness of the CWit and recruit talent.
CWiT Team at SWE Conference in Amsterdam
To further support CWiT, a six-person team from Cummins headed to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) inaugural international conference held May 7-8 in Amsterdam which hosted 190 delegates from 24 countries. The event featured two days of professional development, international industry collaboration and plenty of opportunities to forge new connections… Cummins is a corporate partner of SWE.
“I came away inspired as always from meeting the talented female speakers and delegates,” said Laura Malone, Product Planning Graduate – Cummins Generators Technologies. “One of the key messages I took away was about ‘personal branding’. We all have different talents that can be showcased through effective personal branding, we should utilize and promote them to our colleagues and be proud of the diversity we can bring to any team.”