June 23rd is International Women in Engineering Day (#IWED21), a time to reflect on women engineers who have made a huge difference. Now in its eighth year, the theme for 2021 is “Engineering Heros.”

This year, International Women in Engineering Day will celebrate “the amazing work that women engineers around the world are doing, and not just to respond to the pandemic but also to support lives and livelihoods every day,” according to its website.

“We’re profiling the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, who recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution; who undertake everyday ‘heroics’ as much as emergency ones.”

Since 2014, International Women in Engineering Day has raised awareness about the importance of female engineers. Over the past century, women have made impressive contributions to engineering against all odds. These groundbreaking engineers include: 

  • Edith Clarke – invented the earliest version of the Clark calculator in 1921
  • Mary Jackson – became the first Black female engineer to join NASA in 1958 
  • Marissa Mayer –  the first woman hired by Google in 1999
  • Microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier and biochemist Jennifer Doudna – together received the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry for inventing CRISPR, a revolutionary gene-editing technology 

International Women in Engineering Day: Poster Competition

Do you have a favorite female engineer you would like to celebrate? To honor women engineering heroes around the world, IWED is throwing a poster competition for students in primary and secondary schools.

“The theme of this year’s competition is Engineering Heroes in line INWED 2021 and the task is to complete a poster on that topic,” says IWED on its website. Learn more about the competition (deadline 2 July 2021). 

Check out more Girls in STEM on IEEE TryEngineering.