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IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award inspires creativity

IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award inspires creativity

 May 21, 2018

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Talented role models are critical if more young women are going to choose the engineering profession.

According to the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), the limited stereotypes of engineers are, unfortunately, “alive and well amongst school children.”

To creatively challenge stereotypes, The IET commissioned Rankin Studios, renowned for photographing everyone from Kate Moss and Madonna to The Queen, to style and shoot Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award winners and finalists as well as previous affiliates in a series of dramatic and thought-provoking images. Dubbed ‘Portrait of an Engineer’, the impressive series was shot by award-winning photographer and Rankin protégé, Vicky Lawton.

Iet women

Breaking the psychological barrier

The photoshoot for the IET supports the message of breaking the psychological barrier and breaking down stereotypes of women who choose to pursue careers in engineering and technology. However, the UK as a whole still has a long way to go.

There is positive news from the WISE campaign, however, in that the number of women achieving Core-STEM apprenticeships has increased by 320; a 7% growth on the previous year. This pushes female STEM apprentices up to just over 5000 in the UK, compared to more than 92,000 male counterparts.  

STEM women

Overall, women are leading the way in apprenticeships, representing around 53% of those starting their career as an apprentice. But, this is in mostly female dominated areas such as health and social care (81% female) education and training (61% female), and retail and commercial enterprise (55% female), compared to just 8% in engineering and manufacturing technologies. This indicates that the problem is not with apprenticeships as a whole, but is specific to STEM sectors.


Why the world needs more women in STEM careers

For the world’s largest companies, emerging entrepreneurs and tech-savvy start-ups to continue to grow, innovate, and pioneer game-changing technologies, they need to attract candidates from a global talent pool of the best and brightest.

Focusing talent attraction and retention programmes on female candidates will undoubtedly maximise innovation and creativity, leading to the solution of many of the most challenging problems faced by our modern world.

However, far too many women still live with limited options because they are unaware of the support they can obtain to enter exciting and challenging STEM professions.

Winning the battle of the stereotypes

For over 40 years the IET has been raising the profile of young women in engineering and technology by showcasing the exceptional talents of some of the UK’s most talented young females in the sector.

The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards honours the very best early career female engineers working in the industry today. The IET is constantly campaigning to raise awareness and opportunities for female engineers.

For example, the #9PercentIsNotEnough campaign highlights that women still only make up around nine percent for the engineering and technology workforce in the UK. The campaign encourages women in the sector to share a #9PercentIsNotEnough photo of themselves to inspire the next generation of female engineers.

Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards: entries open

If you are, or you know a young female engineer, you can enter or nominate each year in three categories:

  • Young Woman Engineer of the Year award (prize £2500)

  • Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices (prize £750)

  • Women’s Engineering Society Prize (£750)

Roma Agrawal


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