Kirsten Bodley is the chief executive of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and prior to this was chief executive of STEMNET. She has had a varied career before this including roles in industry and consultancy. Kirsten has completed degrees in Chemistry at King’s College, London, an MBA at Imperial College, London and she is also trained as a teacher.
“…We have had interest in INWED from over 100 countries around the world and events registered for this year to date cover countries far and wide including the US, Spain, Pakistan and Tanzania!..”
My role at the Women’s Engineering Society
The Women’s Engineering Society, WES, is a charity and membership organisation supporting women to progress and succeed in engineering and allied sectors through networking and development opportunities. We have been doing this for 100 years next year! As chief executive I am proud of what WES has achieved and also focused on the step change needed for women to succeed to reach their potential in these sectors.
Raising awareness of fantastic careers options in engineering
National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) was first launched on 23rd June 2014 to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the Women’s Engineering Society. It is an awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and highlights the fantastic career options that are open to all girls and women in a wide range of interesting and worthwhile sectors. This campaign is growing every year.
Celebrating the outstanding achievements of female engineers around the world
It became an international awareness campaign (INWED) in 2017 and celebrates the outstanding achievements of female engineers around the world. Countries taking part last year included Canada, Mauritius, Uganda and Peru. Since 2016, INWED has been under UNESCO patronage. This is invaluable to us and demonstrates the importance of the INWED campaign and its relevance across the globe to encouraging young women in engineering fields.
We have had interest in INWED from over 100 countries around the world and events registered for this year to date cover countries far and wide including the US, Spain, Pakistan and Tanzania!
Raising the Bar
The theme for 2018, Raising the Bar, is to highlight the step change still needed in diversity in the engineering sectors; women remain at around10% of the professional engineering workforce and it is not moving fast enough. It is the Women’s Engineering Society centenary in 2019 and we are challenging the industry to aim for 30 by 30 – 30% of the professional engineering workforce to be female by 2030.
WES is a real partnership organisation working with corporate and education partners as well as many not-for-profit partners who recognise the importance of supporting women progressing in engineering along the whole pipeline from education to leadership. Their support for WES and INWED is brilliant and demonstrates their commitment to this aim.
We’d love all Womanthology readers to get involved – it is easy as it can be supporting through social media (follow Twitter and also see our Thunderclap campaign) and we have a resource pack with information for all types of organisation from schools, employers and other groups about activities. Check the www.inwed.org.uk website! Please register your events with us – and your photos – we’d love to hear what you are doing!
Interacting with talented engineering undergraduates
Our next big event is our student conference on 23rd and 24th November 2018, this year at the University of Warwick. A great way to interact with talented engineering undergraduates – do look at www.wes.org.uk/studentconference. Then of course, it is the Women’s Engineering Society centenary in 2019 and lots of plans are in place to celebrate – again, we’d love to involve you in this so please get in touch.