National Women’s Engineering Day takes place under the Patronage of UNESCO

The contribution of women to engineering was celebrated across the UK last month on the third, annual National Women’s Engineering Day. The UKNC supported the Women’s Engineering Society’s application for the Day to be under UNESCO Patronage, given National Women’s Engineering Day’s close connection to UNESCO’s global priority for gender equality.

Dawn Bonfield, Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society said:

“We were delighted to have the patronage of UNESCO for National Women in Engineering Day 2016 and were very grateful for the recognition that supporting women in engineering is a global objective and one which is aligns to the strategic  goals of UNESCO. This patronage has encouraged us to increase the scope of National Women in Engineering Day for 2017 to become an International awareness day that will be called INWED17”.

Established by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) in 2014, National Women in Engineering Day is an international awareness campaign with a mission to raise the profile of women in engineering in order to encourage wider participation in the profession. The theme for the day was Raising Profiles and to celebrate this theme WES issued a list of the Top 50 Women in Engineering.

The Women’s Engineering Society was established at end of the First World War when the women, who had worked in technical jobs during the war, were through a change in legislation, encouraged to give up their engineering roles for the returning veterans.

WES has been working ever since to ensure equality for women in the sector. Today, WES is a membership organisation that works to support women to achieve their potential as engineers, applied scientists and works with organisations and influencers to promote gender diversity and equality in the workplace.

Highlights of the day include:

  • 200 separate events held on the day, not including individual school events
  • Over 350 school events across the UK
  • 1500 downloads of the Resource Pack from the NWED website
  • Over 400 resource packs sent out by post
  • Over 100 requests for additional classroom resources to support school outreach work
  • 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 referendum related posts
  • On the day, the hashtag #nwed2016 received 1,550,728 impressions #raisingprofiles received 109,325 impressions
  • Our official website received nearly 42.000 unique visitors and over 35,000 page views on the day
  • The official T-shirt store sold 324 units
  • Our NWED video library received over 400 plays so was seen by many times this many students as it was shown in schools
  • National Women in Engineering Day 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