It’s time to celebrate women engineers all around the world! June 23, is International Women in Engineering Day (#IWED20). Now in its seventh year, the theme for 2020 is “Shape The World.”

“I have a PhD in Electrical Engineering, and I work as a technical manager at a large Fortune 500 company, and I volunteer my time with IEE Women in Engineering,” said IEEE Women in Engineering Committee Member Charlotte Blair in a recent video message. “More importantly, I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother, I’m an aunt, I’m your colleague, and I have a personal need and desire to shape our world, for not only my family’s future, but for ours.”

International Women in Engineering Day first took place in 2014. The day was created by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), which was founded by a small group of female engineers in London in June 1919 — a century ago!

Since then, women have made some awesome contributions to engineering. Edith Clarke, an early employee of AT&T, is considered the “first female engineer.” She invented the Clarke calculator. Named after her, the calculator was the first device that solved electricity-related math problems. Hedy Lamarr, who was both an actress and an engineer, invented a device that kept enemy spies from being able to listen in on secret information during World War II. Marissa Mayer, known as Google’s first female engineer and the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company (Yahoo), holds a number of patents in artificial intelligence. 

Despite the many accomplishments of women engineering over the last 100 years, women today account for only about 13% of engineering professionals.

To increase awareness of women engineers, WES is throwing a virtual celebration highlighting 50 of today’s top female engineers and a panel session on sustainability. Titi Oliyide, a safety engineer who works for Siemens, will serve as the keynote speaker.

The organization is also hosting a competition for girls around the world. Girls will compete to design their own soapbox derby race car. The winner’s design will be made into a real toy and the winner will be featured on the toy’s package. 

The organization is also hosting poster competitions for students in high school and college.

Explore Nerd Girls

Nerd Girl Nation celebrates individuality, diversity and passion. It encourages and inspires girls, through media, to change the world around them by pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). Nerd Girls was founded by Dr. Karen Panetta, a professor and Dean at Tufts University and an IEEE Fellow, to empower female engineering students and challenge the stereotypes and myths about women in the profession.  Meet some amazing female engineers who will inspire you on TryEngineering’s website.