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Network Rail promotes Women in Engineering Day following findings

Today (June 23rd) marks Women in Engineering Day and to mark the occasion Network Rail is promoting the contributions of women in engineering as new research has exhibited a lack of female role models within Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) sectors.  

A Network Rail survey of more than 2,000 16-21-year olds in Great Britain, conducted by Savanta ComRes, showed that 64% of total participants and 77% of young women asked felt there was not enough female role models within STEM, and just 26% of females planned to pursue careers in STEM fields.

When the participants were asked as to whether they recognised famous names and faces of STEM figures, more than 80% were familiar with male figures such as Steven Hawking and Sir Isaac Newton, but just 18% knew of Ada Lovelace, who is credited as the first computer programmer for her visionary work in computer science in the 19th century.

Following these new findings, Network Rail has launched a new competition, open to everyone aged between 5 and 14, aimed at promoting the work of female engineers and inspiring the next generation with the fantastic inventions and achievements of engineering from women through history.

Children are invited to create a poster, poem or story to explain their findings around what our world would be like without the work of a female engineer.

INWED Poster Final-01

Entries will be displayed on screens at Network Rail’s stations in a celebration of the impact female engineers have had on our world. Two winners of different genders will also be selected by an independent judging panel from each of three age groups, 5 to 8, 9 to 11 and 12 to 14. With an array of amazing prizes to be won.

Loraine Martins, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Network Rail, said: “We know that more diverse gender-balanced teams are more engaged, more collaborative, more motivated and safer. The ambitions to develop our infrastructure and the skills shortage that our industry faces means that encouraging girls and young women to pursue careers in engineering is vital. Promoting positive female role models is a great way of providing inspiration for future generations to join us. 

“From Mary Anderson, inventor of the windscreen wiper, to Marie Van Brittan Brown, who invented the home security system, there’s a host of women who have come up with inventions and engineering solutions which we simply couldn’t live without.

“I’m delighted we’re running this competition to promote their work, and I hope this will inspire young people, change perceptions and make these positive female role models more visible and relatable to the next generation of engineers.”

Images: Network Rail 


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