This week marked the UK's National Women in Engineering Day, which was celebrated with numerous inspirational talks and conferences around the region.
EngineeringBecause takes a look at the organizations which promote engineering for women around the globe, and list the most influential associations.
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
This is a non-profit organization whose founder, Anita Borg, is an American computer scientist. The institute's main aim is to recruit engineers and inspire female progress in technology through industry partnerships and donations.
'Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing' is the biggest event the organization holds. It successfully promotes the research and careers of women though yearly conferences.
Mary Lou Jepsen, head of the display division at Google X, the search giant’s secretive research lab, and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, were among the many speakers who motivated young women to undertake the challenging task of engineering technology.
The creative name gives away the origin of this organization. Robogals began its story as a university society which grew into something much bigger – an international association run by students. Its founder Marita Cheng was awarded Young Australian of the Year in 2012, and is now working on her company, 2Mar Robotics, which makes robotic arms for people with limited upper mobility.
Robogals even tried to break a world record: the 'largest robot dance'. Although they did not succeed, they attracted contributors and volunteers. The organization quickly gained popularity and is now backed by Beck Engineering, Google and National Grid, to name but a few sponsors.
Women's Engineering Society
Founded shortly after World War I in the UK in 1919, the organization is about to celebrate its 95th anniversary. Its main aim is to inspire women to do a job they enjoy, and to feel confident to work in an engineering position.
Women’s Engineering Society provides gender diversity training and support, as well as mentoring and sponsorship. Among the most successful projects have been ‘magnificent women and their flying machines’ – when students replicate early 20th century aircraft wings.
Although the percentage of female engineering graduates is rising in the UK, the number of women working in the industry is one of the lowest in Europe. So, the organization provides guidance for girls who want to study engineering by listing bursaries and scholarships available for female undergraduates.