WOMEN IN ENGINEERING DAY- JUNE 23, 2023
International Women In Engineering Day is celebrated on June 23 to honor women in the engineering field and raise their profile one degree at a time. This day is a befitting tribute to the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) anniversary, established on June 23, 1919, and recognized by UNESCO.
HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING DAY
International Women in Engineering Day is celebrated worldwide to raise awareness about the women who are transforming the world with their pursuit and incredible achievements in engineering. For centuries, even before the term ‘engineer’ was coined in the 11th century, women have played an essential role as designers and builders of critical structures and machines. However, such fields as engineering have been widely kept away from women. As educational institutions were established, most universities did not admit women until the early 1800s; admissions were still sectioned to traditionally ‘female’ fields.
Women, however, have not been deterred from participating in the engineering sector. In 1876, Elizabeth Bragg became the first woman to receive an engineering degree, a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Berkeley. She paved the way for thousands of women of the 19th century who followed her lead. Also, the first computer program in the world was designed in collaboration between Ada Lovelace, a woman, and Charles Babbage.
Serious attention was later paid to women’s education in technical fields during the Second World War when major players launched quick on-the-job training schedules due to a looming shortage of technical labor. STEM continues to be dominated by men in the 21st century. Women continue to struggle in the field due to the gruesome gender gap and hiring discrimination they experience. Nonetheless, with passion and determination, women may close the gap and get high-paying engineering jobs like men soon.
FIVE FACTS THAT SHOW GENDER DISPARITY IN STEM
The two fastest-growing and highest-paying fields of computer science and engineering have the highest gender gaps.
Men make $15,000 more than their female counterparts in STEM.
72 % of the workers in STEM are men.
Although girls perform better than boys in math, they only make up 21%of all engineering students.
Since STEM fields are typically considered masculine, teachers and parents often underestimate girls’ math abilities as early as preschool.