For those who haven’t heard about the group, the University of Bath WES is an affiliate group of the Women in Engineering Society (WES). The student group has just launched in the University of Bath with the main aim of encouraging young girls in school to explore the idea of studying engineering at university, as engineering is perceived to be a heavily male-dominated discipline.
Our first official event was an awareness appearance at the University Open Day on the 13th of September 2014. This was a huge success and the we really enjoyed chatting to the many potential students and their parents about our experiences as female engineering students (undergraduates and postgraduates). We also gave away some memorable University of Bath WES souvenirs as well as literature to help inspire many young girls thinking about a career in engineering, and those who are currently unsure. We hope to be able to encourage girls into studying engineering and dispel any myths about engineering being solely for the guys!
On 23 June 2014, Britain celebrated its very first national Women in Engineering Day promoted by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES). The society has been active for the past 95 years, created to encourage young girls to choose engineering as a career. As a second year Mechanical Engineering student, I was lucky enough to attend.
There were presentations from Dr Irene Turner, University of Bath, Dame Sue Ion, Chair of NIRAB and Dr Peter Bonfield, Chief Executive of BRE Group. The presentations were followed by a question and answer session, in which many issues were raised regarding the lack of knowledge among young girls about engineering. Following the Q & A session, all event organisers, speakers and guests were thanked by Irene for their cooperation.
The event was followed by a networking session where guests were provided with food and drinks. This session allowed a more relaxed environment to chat with speakers and other engineers in the audience.
It is clear that the engineering industry needs to have more balance between genders. With some companies having less than ten per cent female employees, change is inevitable. The Women’s Engineering Society is trying to close the gap between genders and prove that girls are as capable in this industry as boys. With enough motivation and drive, this movement will result in great changes and soon we will see growing number of girls choosing engineering as a career.