Friday 23 June is International Women in Engineering Day #INWED23. At the UKESF, we’ve been a long-time supporter and this year, as INWED celebrates its 10th anniversary, we’ve become a formal partner.
This matters because females are still hugely under-represented in the sector, particularly in the UK. Figures for 2021, from Engineering UK, show that only 16.5% of those working in engineering are women. INWED, as the only platform of its kind, plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers. It is also provides an opportunity to celebrate women in engineering and their amazing achievements.
At UKESF, we’ve long recognised the importance of tackling the gender imbalance in the Electronics sector. That’s why, within our initiatives to encourage more young people to study Electronics we have a really strong emphasis on ones specifically for females.
Girls into Electronics
Our Girls into Electronics programme gives female students, aged 15-18, a unique opportunity to develop their interest in Electronics. At the heart of the programme is a series of one-day events at leading UK universities. Girls into Electronics 2023, supported this year by Apple, has over 400 girls scheduled to participate, which is nearly double the number we had take part in 2022.
UKESF Renesas Award
The UKESF Renesas Award provides valuable work experience, alongside receiving a generous bursary. This is a brilliant opportunity for female students who are due to begin an undergraduate degree in Electronics. It’s the 5th year of the award and Renesas are offering more awards than ever before!
As part of our approach, we also believe it’s important female students are introduced to ‘real’ models. Rather than searching for elusive ‘role’ models to promote Electronics and engineering, we should instead turn to ‘real’ models – relatable, micro influencers, who can share their personal experiences to help encourage others females to follow in their footsteps. To find out more click here.
UKESF Scholarship Scheme
We’re pleased to say that our efforts seem to be making a real difference. For instance, we’re seeing some fantastic young female Electronics Engineers succeed through our Scholarship Scheme, such as our Scholar of the Year 2022 Nishika and previous winners including Oana, Emily and Joanna.
Overall, this year, 28% of our UKES Scholarships were awarded to female students. This is a record number and is an excellent outcome when we know that only 13.5% of EEE undergraduates are female.
Our work was recognised by a special commendation for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as part of last year’s Princess Royal Training Award 2022 and our co-founder, Lynn Tomkins won The IET Gender Diversity Ambassador Award.