Women represent around ten percent of ICE’s membership and female membership applications are slowly on the rise with graduate numbers at 18%. But the UK still has the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe, at less than 10% across all disciplines. Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus lead with nearly 30%.
The poll is being organised by the Telegraph and is backed by the Women's Engineering Society (WES). Sponsored by a range of industry partners, the initiative aims to boost female uptake of engineering roles and careers by celebrating the notable achievements made by women in the sector.
The WE50 list will be judged and chosen by industry experts from WES, and is sponsored by industry big-hitters including BAE Systems, Scottish Power, Jaguar Land Rover and Mars, as well as skills and training experts Semta and the trade union for professionals, Prospect. The organisations are keen to see the gender landscape of engineering change over the coming years.
WES is a charity that inspires and supports women and girls to achieve their potential as engineers, scientists and technical leaders and ICE is a long term supporter, regularly hosting events and activities in support of National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) which this year takes place on 23 June.
Speaking last year, ICE Director General, Nick Baveystock, said more was needed to be done to address the gender imbalance in engineering:
“The reality is that there are still more male than female engineers, so we must do more, and collaboration between industry and institutions is critical to success.” he said.
“Engineering solutions are best delivered by multi-disciplinary teams of men and women working creatively together, so there is a commercial as well as a social imperative to right the imbalance, and industry must make its case.
ICE has also been active in shining a light on the issue of diversity in our ground breaking ‘Engineering Change’ talking-heads style films as part of ‘ICE Talks’. The series sees people from across the civil engineering spectrum share their thoughts on a range of issues that affect the engineering industry.
How to nominate
ICE is keen to showcase the breadth of talent that exists across the civil engineering industry, and hopes that raising the profile of talented women engineers will encourage young women and girls to consider engineering as a career choice.
Anyone can nominate women working in engineering at any level, no matter what their experience; that could be a friend, a colleague or yourself, by completing the form on the Telegraph website. The nomination deadline is midnight, Monday 23 May.