Six young female engineers have been announced as finalists for the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards 2021. These prestigious engineering industry awards celebrate women working in modern engineering – and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and dirty overalls.
Anna Will (27), Dr Ciara McGrath (30), Dilani Selvanathan (22), Eftychia Koursari (35), Lauryn Jayes (23) and Nipuni Karunaratne (28) have all been shortlisted for the awards.
As well as highlighting female engineering talent, the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards seek to find role models who can help address the UK science and engineering skills crisis by promoting engineering careers to more girls and women. Just 14.5 per cent of those working in engineering occupations are women (source: Engineering UK).
2020 Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Ella Podmore, said: “The IET’s YWE award has completely changed my life. To be recognised by an institution as prestigious as the IET has not only been the greatest achievement of my professional career, but it has also given me the platform of a lifetime to share what I do with the world, whilst reincarnating the passion of why I chose engineering in the first place.
“Since winning the award, I have featured on the BBC and BT Sport, met incredible inventors and innovators, hosted international competitions and have been invited to some of the world’s most interesting events. I have honed skills during this time that have positively impacted my career as well as made me a better person. I am so grateful to the IET for this opportunity, and I aim to give back to the institution and STEM for many years to come.”
Danielle George, President of the IET said: “Engineers bring ideas to life, turn dreams into reality and make solutions to big challenges possible. Engineering is a fantastic career where you really can make a difference and even change the world, but the shortage of women in the industry is a huge problem.
“With a lack of understanding around what engineering is, perceived gender norms and not enough role models for the next generation, there are a lot of reasons as to why the UK struggles to attract women into engineering.
“Our Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards are all about shining a spotlight on the incredible engineering talent up and down the country, to find role models to get girls and the engineers of tomorrow excited and inspired about a career in engineering.
“I’d like to congratulate Anna, Ciara, Dilani, Eftychia, Lauryn and Nipuni for making the final six and in helping to demonstrate the tremendous female engineering talent in our industry today.”