22 September, 2017

NWED goes international

30 March, 2017

For its fourth year, National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) is going international. International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) takes place on 23 June and the campaign for 2017 has been launched.


Set up in 2014 to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the Women’s Engineering Society, this national, now international, awareness day focuses attention on career opportunities in engineering and technical roles available for girls. It also celebrates the achievements of outstanding women engineers.

The success of the campaign in 2015 was reflected in it winning three awards; including the WISE Campaign Award and The Association Award for Best Social Media Campaign. It also contributed to the SEMTA Award for Diversity in Engineering.

In 2016, the day had a positive impact with over 550 separate events being held on the day (including school events), over 350 schools across the UK involved in NWED celebrations, and over 1500 downloads of the resource pack from the NWED website.

Social media success

The campaign reached over 1 million people on social media via a ‘Thunderclap’ campaign on Twitter, the official hashtag #nwed2016 receiving over 15,000 posts on the day which saw the hashtag trending for around 8 hours on Twitter – second only to EU referendum-related posts. UNESCO patronage endorsed NWED 2016 worldwide and obtaining patronage for 2017 is in progress.

NWED 2016 was reported in over 150 national and local newspapers and online articles in the UK and internationally. BBC and Sky News covered the day in their evening news slots, and BBC Woman's Hour also featured women in engineering, along with a number of radio shows.

Kirsten Bodley, interim CEO of Women's Engineering Society, said: "We're really pleased to have so much support for International Women in Engineering Day this year and aim to increase our reach to a wider audience with our theme of 'Men as Allies'; raising the profile of the opportunities available to women in engineering. We're also delighted to be working with The Daily Telegraph to announce the Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35 as part of the INWED17 celebrations on 23 June."

Influence

With this day, INWED is aiming to influence society as a whole by focusing positive attention on the role of engineering, and in particular the part that women in engineering play and the career opportunities that exist. Much international publicity was also generated because of the day.

In 2015 and 2016 the campaign had several non-UK events and in 2017 it would like to spread this day more widely beyond the UK, with an ultimate aim of having it be recognised as a Global Day to celebrate women’s achievements in engineering.

Even without official global promotion, the previous years saw participation from Kuwait, India, Ireland and South Africa, and more countries made further enquiries. Already in 2017, INWED has had enquiries from the US, Canada, Ireland and Malaysia and it expects these countries to be supporting the day with events.

Through the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES), the campaign is encouraging other European countries, particularly those with no local date celebrating women engineers, to take up INWED. INWED aims to make the day international. However, its ethos is to ensure its promotional activities support rather than replace any existing international days already in place in these nations.

Sponsorship

INWED has several early sponsors on board for 2017, including Engineers Ireland's STEPS Programme, Cirrus Logic, Building Engineering Services Association, Wiley, Royal Academy of Engineering, Colas Limited, Boeing and SSE. Many of the sponsors have offices outside the UK and are planning to hold INWED events across these offices.

For more information, visit: www.inwed.org.uk




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