Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 

Helen Townend, Technical Director for Diversity and Inclusion
23 June 2020
Image of three women sat at a laptop.
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Today is International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) and here at Amey we’re joining people from all over the globe to help celebrate women in engineering. INWED aims to raise the profile of women in engineering and highlights the wide variety of career opportunities available to girls in the engineering sector.

To support this year’s theme, we’ve made a short film of some of our employees sharing how they’re helping to #ShapeTheWorld.  

I’m proud to be an advocate for the varied and rewarding career opportunities the Engineering sector provides. Diversity and Inclusion are at the heart of what we do at Amey and it’s great that I have the opportunity to encourage more women into engineering and help bust myths about the sector.  

Our 'Women@Amey' network has over 400 members, where we aim to attract, support, develop and retain women at Amey by supporting women to achieve their career goals, celebrating their successes and by promoting our business and what we do, to a wider audience. 

We also try to reach a younger audience to encourage more girls to consider engineering as a career choice. While girls continue to study STEM subjects at school just as much as boys (representing 48% of the total STEM entries at GCSE) and generally outperform boys in the majority of subjects, there is an ongoing imbalance when it comes to undergraduate degrees and jobs in STEM industries. Only 16% of engineering and technology undergraduates are female and the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe - around 11%. 

Two of our initiatives that tackle this imbalance are our partnership with GirlGuiding and The Challenge Cup.  

We work with GirlGuiding UK to develop STEM skills in school children. Our engineering badge, with a focus on rail, road, innovation, safety, diversity and inclusion has already reached more than 150,000 Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. Activities the girls have the opportunity to complete include carrying out scientific experiments, creating algorithms for robots, planning video games, learning about binary code through making computer science themed bracelets and having a go at being a crime scene investigator – to name a few. 

The Challenge Cup was devised to raise awareness in schools of what is involved in an engineering career. It involves teams of girls looking at all aspects of an engineering project, such as designing a section of smart motorway or responding to a bridge collapse, including planning, budgeting and managing risk. The challenge also involves the girls presenting their solutions to senior professionals. 

We’ve also recently launched Amey’s Education Hub where there are lots of STEM resources freely available to download.  

Helping to #ShapeTheWorld  

We can all help to raise the profile of women engineers and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all. I for one am excited by how much we can accomplish together! 

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