International Women in Engineering Day, Empowering the Next Generation of Female Engineers

In honour of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), Dr Elena Marensi organised an event with the Faculty of Engineering, to mark the day.

Graphic for Women in Engineering Day

The Faculty of Engineering celebrated International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), by hosting an inspiring event in the Diamond, dedicated to celebrating the remarkable contributions and sharing the experiences of women in the field of engineering.

INWED, celebrated globally in June, serves as a platform to raise awareness about the achievements of women engineers and address the gender disparity in the field. The diverse audience of professionals, students and alumni, were treated to an eclectic mix of talks from academics, technicians and students about current research, faculty activities and career journeys.

The event kicked off with a rousing speech by Dame Julie Kenny, Interim Chair of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and Chair of Trustees of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, who urged our audience to not think about failure, to have self-belief and learn when to take risks.

Other speakers on the day included talks and advice about learning how to say ‘no’ and identify opportunities to say ‘yes’; how female engineers should celebrate and shout about their wins as well as having the confidence to share failures too as they are an important part of learning; finding your passion along the way even if you don’t know what your passion is at the start; as well as learning what research is being done currently at the university in robotics and voice and speech; in teaching and also the incredible technical support that we have in the faculty.

The event was a celebration of all the amazing activities undertaken by our female staff and students across the Faculty of Engineering, spanning a whole range of career stages, backgrounds and roles. With this event, we want to recognise the achievements and important roles these women play in our faculty, and give everyone the opportunity to share their activities and stories, and to learn about others too, so that we can really feel part of an inclusive community!

Dr Elena Marensi

Department of Mechanical Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering at Sheffield has a long history in championing gender diversity with its ‘Women in Engineering initiative’ which began in 2011, and breaking down barriers that hinder women from pursuing careers in engineering. According to EngineeringUK the female workforce is currently set at 16.5% - an increase of around 6% since 2010 - and whilst this is an encouraging number, it is clear that there is still a lot of work to be done in this area.

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