International Women in Engineering Day, brought to you by Women’s Engineering Society (WES) celebrates its 10th year today, Friday June 23rd. This year’s theme is #MakeSafetySeen and we are once again celebrating the amazing work that women engineers around the world are doing to support lives and livelihoods every day.
With 2021 figures indicating that in the UK only 16.5% of engineers are women, the annual INWED event provides female engineers with an opportunity to shine in an industry where they are still hugely underrepresented. As the only event of its kind, INWED plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers.
International Women in Engineering Day began in the UK in 2014 as a national campaign from the Women’s Engineering Society. Since then, INWED has gone truly global and even received UNESCO patronage in 2016. The 2022 campaign achieved a potential reach of over 656 million people, celebrated by individuals across the world.
For 2023, we are profiling the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, those women who #makesafetyseen and are helping to build towards a brighter future.
For the tenth anniversary of the event, we are aiming to increase engagement and awareness even further to encourage individuals and organisations from all corners of the globe to drive the topic of diversity and inclusion.
INWED is an event for female engineers and allies who wish to strive and ensure their organisation is doing everything possible to be fair and open to all.
This year we’ll be celebrating the amazing work that women engineers around the world are doing to support lives and livelihoods every day. We’re profiling the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, those women who #makesafetyseen and are helping to build towards a brighter future.
Joanna Whiteman, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Royal Academy of Engineering said: “At the Academy, we’re impatient for an acceleration in the number of women engineers joining and thriving in our profession. Our Inclusive Cultures research shows there is much further to go. We’re therefore pleased to sponsor INWED and to help highlight the exceptional talent and impact of women in engineering.”
Ball said of their sponsorship: “INWED embodies our vision, amplifies our voice and allows us to celebrate diversity, therefore we are delighted and privileged to be sponsoring INWED 2023. Since commencing our ambitious journey on becoming as diverse and inclusive as possible; having more female talent in all areas of our business, especially as engineers – has not only resulted in a richer, more productive and innovative workplace, but helps us attract the best talent from all corners of the planet, motivated and enthused by our authentically diverse voice and unique culture of true belonging. Balls success is built on an increasingly diverse workforce.”
A highlight of this year’s event is the annual INWED Webinar which showcases several influential figures within the industry, including Dame Dawn Childs DBE FREng, Engineering Historian, Dr Nina Baker, Antony Firth, Head of Marine Heritage Strategy at Historic England and Amanda Creak, EMEA CIO and Head of EMEA Technology, Morgan Stanley.
Winners of Top 50 Women in Engineering 2023 revealed
As part of INWED 2023, The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) is delighted to announce the winners of the Top 50 Women in Engineering awards.
Now in its eighth year, the Women’s Engineering Society founded The Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards (WE50) in 2016 to showcase the diversity of women engineers making a difference to people’s lives. The awards are announced each year on 23 June which is International Women In Engineering Day (INWED) a campaign started by WES to raise the profile of Women Engineer’s around the world. Each year WES chooses a different theme for the WE50 and INWED and for 2023 the theme for the WE50 was Safety and Security. This year’s awards are held in association with Power Engineering International.
The 2023 Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards celebrate the women engineers who are engaged in safety and security and who #MakeSafetySeen. These amazing women work to keep us safe, wherever we are, whether at work or leisure, at home or online. Following in the footsteps of our first Secretary, Dame Caroline Haslett, who invented the three-pin safety plug to protect children from electric shocks, the 2023 WE50 winners will be women who are protecting the public through their work, often unseen and unknown.
Nominations opened at noon on 11 February 2023, International Day of Women and Girls in Science, to those women engineers who are working in safety and security, including cybersecurity, particularly if they also support sustainability and/or combat climate change, and support other women to do the same.
Elizabeth Donnelly, CEO, Women’s Engineering Society, said of the awards: “The women in this year’s WE50 list are a truly amazing group. Their work often goes unseen yet is key to keeping us all safe and secure. From the creation of a system being used to kill weeds with no chemicals, to providing safety leadership to the RNLI, the women we celebrate in these awards are all inspirational in their work. Each year the judges are always amazed at the breadth and talent of the nominations they receive and this year’s nominees more than lived up to expectations. We hope that these awards will inspire more women to get involved in engineering and show what a diverse and rewarding career it can be”
Kelvin Ross, Editor-in-Chief of Power Engineering International which is sponsoring the WE50, said: “We are delighted and proud to support WE50 on International Women in Engineering Day.
“Power Engineering is a year-round advocate for women in engineering, however, days like International Women in Engineering Day and awards like WE50 are vital to shine a spotlight on the opportunities for women in engineering and highlight why girls in school and college should seize those opportunities. We cover the energy transition in detail, yet that shift to a net zero future must also be a just transition, and diversity and equality are key pillars of that transition.”
The Top 50 Women in Engineering for 2023 are (in alphabetical order):
- Chisom Akujobi-Ezeonyeka – Power Electronics and Systems Engineer, Rootwave Ltd
- Mary Allan – Principal Radiation Protection Scientist and Head of Profession, Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
- Sarah Bailey – Hardware Engineer, Leonardo
- Niamh Barker – Graduate Engineer, Arup
- Dr Beth Barnes – Assistant Professor in Engineering, Durham University
- Sholeh Behzadpour-Shaw – Senior Engineer Industrial Cyber, Heathrow Airport Ltd.
- Dr Marzia Bolpagni – Associate Director – Head of BIM International, Mace
- Sue Caccavone – Operations Manager – Asset Management, Binnies (UK) Ltd.
- Caroline GCHQ
- Patrizia Carpentieri – Principal Blast Engineer, Arup
- Kelly Cary – Managing Consultant – Transport Planning, Atkins
- Dr Clara Cheung Senior Lecturer in Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester
- Sarah Clark – Head of Technology Centre, Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
- Natasha Dunkinson – Aerospace Engineering Degree Apprentice, BAE Systems
- Jennifer Edwards – Senior Systems Engineer, UK Space Agency
- Verena Fernandes – Senior Civil Engineer, Wokingham Borough Council
- Dr Nicolette Formosa – Senior Research Engineer in Technology, National Highways
- Mariella Gallo – Associate Director Arup Resilience Security and Risk, Arup
- Charlotte Goodwill – CEO, Institute of Telecommunications Professionals
- Ana Gorgyan – Director of Engineering, Independent Power Corporation PLC
- Sally Hall – Senior Engineer, Frazer-Nash Consultancy
- Amina Hamoud – Lecturer in Systems Engineering, University of West of England
- Laura Hoang – Senior Human Factors Engineering Consultant, Environmental Resources Management Ltd
- Lauren Jenkins – Engineering Capacity Lead, Defence Equipment and Support
- Svetlana Joao – Structural Engineer and ICE President Future Leader, Institution of Civil Engineers
- Emma Johnsén – Personal Care R&E Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Kimberly-Clark
- Laura Joryeff – Principal (Engineering Safety) Consultant, Corporate Risk Associates (CRA)
- Eleni Kastrisiou – Engineer, Arup
- Susan Khan – Head of Hardware Engineering, Thales Ground Transportation Systems
- Holli Kimble – Chief Engineer, Defence Equipment and Support
- Dr Eluned Lewis – Team Leader Survivability, QinetiQ Defence and Security
- Dr Salmabanu Luhar – Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (UK Research and Innovation), University of Sheffield
- Jennifer Maher – Principal Mechanical Engineer, Sellafield Ltd.
- Elena Martin Fernandes – Principal Highways Engineer, Waterman Aspen
- Guilia Marzetti – Senior Carbon Management Consultant, Mott MacDonald
- Jenny McLaughlin – Project Manager, Heathrow Airport Ltd.
- Krishna Mistry – Body Engineering Programme Lead, Volta Trucks
- Faith Natukunda System Capability Manager, National Grid ESO
- Titilola Oliyide – Senior Process Safety Engineer, Supercritical Solutions
- Stacey Peel – Director, Arup
- Claire Price – Associate Director, WSP UK
- Caroline Roche – Senior Engineer, Capula Ltd
- Anne Seldon – Chief Engineer – Product Safety & Compliance, WAE Technologies
- Nikita Shetti – Payload System Engineer, Airbus Defence and Space
- Professor Nicola Symonds – Director, nC2 Engineering Consultancy, University of Southampton
- Joanne Turner – Project Director, Amey Consulting
- Shiyao Wang – Computer Vision Engineer, Intel Corporation
- Roshni Wijesekera – Senior Fire Engineer, The Fire Surgery Limited
- Catherine Wood – Maintain Design Integrity Group Lead, EDF Energy
- Louise Wood – Senior LEV Engineer, Airducts Design Ltd & Airducts Engineering Ltd.
The Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards (WE50)
The WE50 is an awards programme created in 2016 by the Women’s Engineering Society to raise awareness of the skills shortage facing the industry, highlighting the huge discrepancy between the number of men vs. women currently in engineering professions. Each year, the WE50 has had a different theme, and has now recognised approximately 300 outstanding UK-based female engineers. www.wes.org.uk/we50
The 2023 WE50 Judges are:
• Lynsey Seal QFSM CEng BEng (Hons) FIFireE AMIMechE MWES, London Fire Brigade, Head Judge
• Lalitha Ande, Senior Systems Engineer, Cubic
• Eneni Bambara-Abban, Techover Foundation, 2022 IET Young Woman Engineer WES Prize Winner
• Jamie Chestnutt
• John Devlin, Programmes Director, Frazer-Nash Consultancy
• Verena Hefti MBE, CEO and Founder, LeadersPlus
• Chrisma Jain, Transport for London, WES Trustee
• Hannah GCHQ
• Mark McBride-Wright, Equal Engineers
• Emily Spearman, BP, WES Trustee
• Joanna Vezey BEng (Hons) MSt CEng MICE, Technical Director, Europe
• Jason Watson-Massey, Leonardo
• Louise Whiting, Safety and Reliability Society
International Women in Engineering Day (INWED)
INWED is an international awareness campaign aimed at raising the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in engineering and related roles. INWED is celebrating its tenth year and the theme this year is ‘Make Safety Seen’. The official social media hashtags area #INWED23 and #makesafetyseen www.inwed.org.uk
Women’s Engineering Society (WES)
The Women’s Engineering Society is a charity and professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists offering inspiration, support and professional development. WES’ vision is of an engineering industry that employs the diversity of the society it serves to solve the biggest societal issues of our time, and WES’ mission is to support women in engineering to fulfil their potential and support the engineering industry to be inclusive. WES was founded on 23 June 1919 by an influential committee drawn from the National Council of Women, to resist pressure to leave engineering jobs when men returned from the forces and to promote engineering as a rewarding job for women. WES organises International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on its birthday every year, a global celebration of women in engineering.