Celebrate International Women In Engineering Day

Welcome to our dedicated INWED section celebrating International Women In Engineering Day on 23 June and all the contributions made by women engineers.

International Women In Engineering day is on 23 June
International Women In Engineering day is on 23 June

Welcome to our dedicated INWED section. Here, we speak to a variety of civil engineers working every single day to make our world better.

Meet our members below!

INWED’s theme this year is ‘Shape the World’. There is also a strong focus on sustainable development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and how all engineers are working towards a greener world.

INWED is a great way of sharing with the world just how diverse a career in civil engineering can be, removing some of those myths that that possibly stop more young women entering the industry.

Beth Williams

Beth Williams is a Structural Engineer at Build Collective Ltd. and Certified PassivHaus Designer, currently the only dual-qualified structural engineer in the country! She has over 10 years’ experience in low-energy and low-carbon design and construction, with a focus on timber frame PassivHaus buildings.

“To attract and retain more women in civil engineering, I think we need to make more part time and flexible working positions available, including giving more capacity for working from home, says Beth.

“This will help ensure that a career in engineering is more sustainable across the whole a working life. We also need to encourage more women as visible role models in the profession to ensure that young women in education or early careers are seeing women in more senior and influential positions in the industry, giving hope of career progression and recognition.”

" Women deserve to have a position in the industry because we are equally human, nothing more or less than that!

Beth Williams

“I don’t believe we should be selling ‘women in engineering’ because we are ‘unique’ or more special than men – we’re not, we’re just as fallible as men. We deserve to have a position in the industry because we are equally human, nothing more or less than that!”

Beth took part in our Designing Net Zero buildings webinar here at ICE on 9 June, find out more below.

How can the industry attract and retain more women?

Our professionals discuss in our video interview.

Rosheena Jugdhurry

Rosheena Jugdhurry is a Structural Engineer specialising in Energy & Maritime at Arup, who wants to see an industry that celebrates and utilises the uniqueness of a diverse workforce to shape a better world.

"I want our industry to have engineers, designers, planners, modellers etc and not to be bound by labels related to our gender, ethnicity, race, age or sexual orientation," says Rosheena.

"However, we cannot ignore the fact that the construction industry today has a very low percentage of women and this is not helping us to realise the full potential of an industry with a diverse workforce. This is why International Women in Engineering Day is important, to celebrate the contribution that women bring to the industry.

"I see myself as an engineer who happens to be a woman. I believe that my strengths are my persistence to keep trying my best until I find a solution to a problem, my calm approach to a stressful situation and professionalism."

Read Rosheena's INWED blog.

What unique contribution do women bring to the industry?

Our professionals discuss in our video interview.

Mimi Isabella Nwosu

Mimi-Isabella Nwosu, BEng (Hons), GMICE is an Assistant Materials Engineer with Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. She says the industry needs to collaborate more closely with schools and colleges to have a stronger influence on the curriculum. "Engineering is extremely practical, and needs innovate and creative thinkers and to solve world issues, " says Mimi.

"There is still a stigma attached to engineering as being a career for men. We need to do more to show the variety of engineering. I complete numerous STEM Ambassador activities and give presentations at all-girl schools; I always use one of the female attendees’ interests and link them to an engineering job.

"For example, I used a young girl’s interest in horses to speak about my friend who also loves horses and is a product design engineer who designs bespoke horse carriages. We need to make engineering more relatable to all women, no matter their interests, this needs to start from a young age. We need to link real world problems to what is taught in schools."

Read Mimi's INWED blog.

Yvonne Murphy

Yvonne Murphy is a a Senior Civil Engineer at Mott MacDonald.

She says: " The biggest success for women in engineering will be when people don't have to talk about it anymore.We need people who reflect society, to serve that society, particularly in civil engineering. We design civilian infrastructure that must be useful for everyone - irrespective of race, creed, gender. "

" The biggest success for women in engineering will be when people don't have to talk about it anymore”

Yvonne Murphy

Watch Yvonne discuss sustainability in our video interviews below.

Why is it important for civil engineers to take sustainability seriously?

Our professionals discuss in our video interview.

Eliane Campbell

Elaine Campbell is a Structural Engineer working in oil and gas with Atkins.

I love seeing people’s reactions when I tell them I’m an engineer,” says Elaine. “Depending on the person, sometimes I’m met with confusion, praise or just bewilderment. I have so many female friends and colleagues who are also engineers and I’m certainly not the first woman in engineering and definitely won’t be the last, so I often don’t understand why people are still surprised.”

“I really enjoy the challenges that I’ve faced so far in my career and would like to think that by sharing my story I am helping to encourage the next generation. There are so many opportunities out there – do what you enjoy and grasp these great chances that are available.

Why is it important for civil engineers to take sustainability seriously?

More of our professionals discuss in our video interview.

Louise Hertherington

Louise Hetherington, Meng GMICE, is an ICE President’s Future Leader and a Structural Engineer at Atkins.

“The sustainability agenda has been spoken about for many years, before I started considering engineering as an option. Yet we’re still talking about it now, as whilst some steps have been taken, great bounds forward have not happened. Sustainability should be at the forefront of civil engineers minds as we have the opportunity to drive serious change within the UK and further afield."

“Female engineers bring a different approach to the industry than men purely for the reason, we are different. We all get brought up in a society with different pressures on men and women and that shapes our opinions of how things should be done.”

“There are studies available to show how we all live in a world designed for men, how cancer is more typically diagnosed on men because the recognisable symptoms are symptoms men have and how even seatbelts in cars are not necessarily designed for the average woman – but instead the average man. So take that forward and apply how someone with a different viewpoint perceives the world and our infrastructure projects can benefit immensely too.”

Read more on INWED on Louise's blog.

What made you decide to become a civil engineer?

Our professionals discuss in our video interview.

Holly Smith

Holly Smith is also an ICE President’s Future Leader and a Graduate Engineer at Mott MacDonald. She believes that diversity must be at the heart of future growth within the industry.

“We can only achieve the best engineering solutions for society through creative thinking and encompassing a variety of perspectives from a diverse range of people,” says Holly.

“I believe the greater cognitive diversity you have in a team, the more you can achieve. If we work in a team with those like us, it may seem to be a more comfortable environment, but not necessarily one which challenges our typical way of thinking and stimulates ingenuity. I believe gender diversity is only one aspect of this and we must create an inclusive environment where everyone can be valued for what experiences and insights they can contribute."

Read more on INWED on Holly's blog.

Watch our interview with Holly below.

Georgia Thompson and Charlotte Flower discuss how the industry can attract and retain more women

Hayley Jackson

Hayley Jackson is also a President's Future Leader and a site engineer with Taylor Woodrow. Hayley says the industry needs to widen the pool of professionals to improve diversity.

"According to the Women’s Engineering Society, only 11% of the engineering workforce worldwide is female, with the UK seeing the lowest figure in Europe at less than 10%," says Hayley.

"I’m sure you have seen these statistics before, but they are an even more common discussion point around the time of INWED, yet there seems to be little improvement year on year. One consideration that I think we should be taking, is looking at a wider pool of professionals to introduce to the civil engineering sector.

Environmental scientists and geographers have a broad understanding of the global challenges we face and how the planet reacts to air, land and water pollution. They understand ecosystems and how best to preserve the world we live in."

Read Hayley's blog on achieving diversity and sustainability.

Project 13

ICE NW Director Emma Antrobus says slow progress is not enough – we need more women in engineering.

“For many reasons, women and girls are significantly under-represented in many industries. Engineering is one of those.

“We also know that a diverse workforce brings about many benefits and ultimately helps ensure that civil engineering schemes meet the needs of a wide range of users.

“We need to continue to help younger girls and women foster their love of STEM subjects. We need more role models and active mentoring, for junior, middle and senior women. And we need benchmarking against other industries and countries to support better decision-making in the board room.”

Read more on NW research into the statistics.

ICE International

In support of INWED the ICE International Team conducted a photo campaign. Members were encouraged to be creative by using social media cards, inspirational words and phrases, and to share their photos on their social media channels using #INWED20 and #ShapeTheWorld. View the film below!

Regional Events

Regional Updates

Some of our regions are holding a series of webinars to mark INWED all looking at starting the 'engineering as a career' dialogue.

Engineering Role Models

Webinar | 22 June | 17.30 start

Find out more

Are we striking the right work/life balance to encourage more women into engineering?

Webinar | 23 June | 08.30 start

Find out more

Engineers - How are they planning for the next big challenge nobody's talking about?

STEM webinar | 23 June | 15.00 start

Find out more

Middle East events

ICE Middle East INWED20 panel discussion

Webinar | 21 June | 19.00 start

Find out more