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Collaborating with partners around the world to celebrate international ambition for women in engineering – Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society

International Women in Engineering Day

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.

Kirsten Bodley - Womens Engineering Society
Kirsten Bodley

“…There has never been such an exciting time for us as it’s our centenary in 2019 and that is really something to celebrate…”

Joining the Women’s Engineering Society to make a difference

ChemistryI have been working in the STEM sector since graduating in chemistry and I have really enjoyed the opportunities it has provided me. Where else can you get the variety as well as the excitement of the developments and innovation across these areas?

The best part of my role is to know that WES makes a difference – we collaborate with a large number of partners supporting women to succeed and achieve their potential in engineering and allied sectors. We also have a wonderful set of volunteers whose support is invaluable to our network.

There has never been such an exciting time for us as it’s our centenary in 2019 and that is really something to celebrate. We have a lot of plans afoot – with partners – and we are building a firm platform to take us into the next 100 years!

From National Women in Engineering Day to International Women in Engineering Day

Mechanical-engineeringWith the success of National Women in Engineering Day over the past three years, this year the event seeks to celebrate the achievements of women in engineering and inspire younger generations by going global. This year, therefore, will be the first International Women in Engineering Day (INWED17), again under the patronage of UNESCO.

Many of our partners are holding events at their sites across the globe and other events are planned to include in Canada and Brazil!

Celebrating the achievements of amazing female engineers

There were well over 500 nominations for the Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35 – they were of very high quality and it was extremely difficult to judge them. The nominations highlighted amazing women engineers making their mark both technically and in support of other women or girls in engineering. There was also a fantastic range of nominations across career routes, sectors, disciplines and roles.

The Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35 will be announced in a Daily Telegraph supplement on International Women in Engineering Day on 23rd June, so please look out for it.

Centenary Challenge

Womens-Engineering-SocietyThe Women’s Engineering Society was formed nearly 100 years ago and we are looking forward to celebrating our centenary in 2019. We are planning a truly great year working alongside our partners on some key projects. The Centenary Challenge sets out to increase the number of female engineers so that 30% of engineers are female by 2030 (30 by 30!). This aligns with other partners’ aims.

One key project is 100for100 This is a programme of engineering employer collaboration bringing together 100 partners who share our vision for a more diverse engineering workforce. We are now looking for interested and ambitious partners to become part of this elite group of 100. There are three elements to this programme:

  1. Awards to 100 companies – recognition for actions and impact in the area of gender diversity in engineering, applied sciences and technology
  2. Knowledge share – through identifying the actions that work, WES will be able to create a library of 100 examples of good practice that could be emulated by others
  3. Pledges for Future Change – with the award comes the responsibility to promise 100 further steps to further diversity and inclusion. This may include projects with WES.

Please contact us to hear more about this exciting programme! Please email info@wes.org.uk or telephone 01438 765506.