The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has launched its 2018 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards (YWE) and is calling on successful young female engineers to enter.

These prestigious engineering industry awards celebrate women working in modern engineering. They aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men, by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and greasy pipes. Winners become all-important role models to help inspire more girls to become engineers.

Recognising and showcasing outstanding female engineers has never been so important. Statistics from the most recent IET Skills and Demand in Industry survey show that just over one in ten (11%) of the UK engineering and technical workforce is female.

Former winners of the Awards include Dr Ozak Esu, Electrical Engineer at Cundall, Dr Jenni Sidey Canadian Space Agency Astronaut, Orla Murphy, an Audio Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, Naomi Mitchison, a senior hardware engineer at Selex ES and Abbie Hutty, a spacecraft engineer currently working on Europe’s first Rover mission to Mars.

Jo Foster, IET Diversity and Inclusion Manager, said: “We want to make it clear that engineering is a fantastic career for women. Outdated views are damaging to the industry, especially when there is a significant shortage of engineers posing a serious threat to the economy. Not only that, but there are thousands of female engineers doing amazing things in everything from healthcare technology to space exploration.

“The Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards showcase some of the best female engineering talent in this country, hopefully encouraging the next generation to get excited about the possibilities of an engineering career.”

Current IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Dr Ozak Esu, added: “The awards celebrate career excellence and highlight the contributions of female engineers within a currently male-dominated industry. As a finalist, I took part in the IET Portrait of an Engineer campaign to promote diversity within the industry, dispel skewed views held by young people, and to encourage an inclusive perspective of what an engineer looks like.

“Winning the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award is a significant career achievement. This prestigious accolade has raised my professional profile within the industry in the UK and in Nigeria, which has led to many exciting projects and life-changing opportunities. The award has also helped expand my professional network and enabled me to participate in inspiring the next generation of engineers on a bigger platform”.

The deadline for entry to the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards is 7 July 2018. For more information, please visit: www.theiet.org/ywe.