Today marks the second annual celebration of women in engineering, National Women in Engineering Day (NWED). Organised by the Women’s Engineering Society, the day is a chance for individuals, organisations and employers to promote the many achievements of women working in engineering.
As one of iDiscover’s key aims is to break down gender and cultural stereotypes around STEM professions and industries, we couldn’t pass up this chance to talk to some of the amazing female engineers who’ve volunteered to support the programme.
Their responses showed us why they think iDiscover is such a vital tool in the battle to convince more girls that they can have a future in STEM. “I’m often at meetings where I am the only female,” said Dr Huma Shah, Research Fellow, Engineering & Computing, Coventry University. Statistics bear out Huma’s experience: only 5.7% of the UK’s engineering workforce is female, a much lower proportion than in other developed nations.
Asked what impact iDiscover would have made if it had been available to her at primary school, Huma replied: “I might have progressed further, quicker and been a Professor by now!”
Research also shows that engaging the parents of girls and young women is vital to increase their participation in STEM subjects and careers. iDiscover addresses this by inviting parents and carers into school to meet some of our fantastic professional volunteers, so that attitudes are shifted at home as well as at school.
Bringing together teachers, families and a diverse range of professional volunteers, we believe that iDiscover is a vital early intervention that can bring to life the exciting possibilities of a career in engineering and related professions.
For more information on the iDiscover programme, please contact our primary team.