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National day aims to drive uptake of female engineers

WES wants to dispel the ‘dirty hands’ image that belies the creativity a career in engineering involves

More than 70 events are taking place across the country today to mark National Women in Engineering Day, which is being organised by the Women's Engineering Society (WES) to mark its 95th birthday.

The aim of the event is to celebrate the work that women do in engineering and showcase the exciting and rewarding careers available.

"Girls are very unclear about what exactly engineering is, and so anything that can be done to raise their awareness and promote engineering as a viable career option is very much needed," said WES vice president Dawn Bonfield.

"We are hoping that National Women in Engineering Day will inspire people to focus attention on the lack of women in engineering, and encourage people to do something about it."

The day is also being supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which is using it to highlight its Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards.

The competition is open to female engineers under the age of 30 from any discipline.

IET chief executive Nigel Fine said: "We've been running the awards for 38 years and have produced a number of fantastic female ambassadors for engineering as a result.

"This year has seen growing momentum from ghovernment, industry and educators to encourage more girls to study STEM subjects, so it seems timely and appropriate to make finding inspirational female role models who can support these efforts."

Laura Hopperton

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