International Women in Engineering Day Date in the current year: June 23, 2024

International Women in Engineering Day International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is observed annually on June 23. It was created to celebrate the amazing work of women engineers around the globe and to encourage women to enter STEM fields.

Although gender disparity in science and engineering has existed pretty much always, many women have contributed to the academic and professional fields of engineering throughout history. For example, Ada Lovelace published the first algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, and Hedy Lamarr invented a technology that made Bluetooth, GPS, CDMA and Wi-Fi possible.

Women also played an important role in programming the ENIAC during World War II, although some of them weren’t recognized for their work during their lifetimes. After the war, a lot of women who had entered the engineering field as part of the war effort were replaced with men returning from the front.

The number of women in engineering has increased over the past few decades, but engineering still remains a traditionally male-dominated field where women have to prove themselves over and over again for a number of reasons. Factors that contribute to this situation include gender stereotypes that hinder women’s confidence in their abilities, lower rates of female students in engineering education programs, and engineering culture.

The history of International Women in Engineering Day began in 2014, when the UK-based Women’s Engineering Society launched National Women in Engineering Day to celebrate its 95th anniversary. Originally celebrated in the United Kingdom, the observance received UNESCO patronage in 2016 and became a truly global awareness day in 2017.

Although the number of women engineers grows every year, they are still hugely underrepresented in the field and looked down upon by their male colleagues. In addition, minority women are even less represented in fields related to engineering than their white counterparts. Due to this, INWED aims not only to encourage more girls and young women to look into engineering careers but also to highlight the importance of workforce diversification.

Every year, dozens of INWED events are held across the world, impacting millions of girls and women. They include talks, panel discussions, workshops, networking events, competitions, colloquiums, engagement projects for highs school students, webinars, and more.

How can you observe in International Women in Engineering Day? You can participate in an INWED event (some of the events are online so you can join the celebration even if there are no physical events near you), learn more about outstanding women engineers, and raise awareness about the holiday and women in engineering using the hashtags #WomenInEngineeringDay and #INWED.

Observances similar to International Women in Engineering Day include the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11) and International Girls in ICT Day (the fourth Thursday of April). All of them were launched to help close the gender gap in STEM fields.

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International Women in Engineering Day, international observances, professional observances, women in engineering, women in STEM