Engineers Ireland has launched a new Women in Engineering Group as part of the organisation’s International Women’s Day celebrations with a virtual panel discussion attended by over 130 delegates.
The group, which welcomes engineers of all gender identities and backgrounds, aims to support women, pre- and post-graduation, including those returning from a career break, who have chosen to pursue a career in engineering so as to develop their skills and competencies and fully realise their potential in and out of the workplace. The group held its first meeting in January 2021 with over 30 engineers from junior to senior level in attendance.
Chair of the Women in Engineering Group, Georgina Molloy of Scaffold Design Ireland commented: “The enthusiasm we saw in the first meeting in January really highlighted how necessary a group like this is. Providing quality networking and mentoring opportunities for women in the industry will help ensure a steady pipeline of female engineers and hopefully lead to an increase in women in senior management positions in the coming years.”
To celebrate the formal launch of the Women in Engineering Group on this International Women’s Day, over 130 attendees joined Maurice Buckley, President of Engineers Ireland and Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland and panelists for an online webinar entitled ‘Choose to Challenge – Breaking Down Barriers’.
Maurice Buckley, President of Engineers Ireland, welcomed the creation of the Women in Engineering Group and highlighted the importance of promoting female engineers at leadership level across the industry. Presently, 32% of the Council members within Engineers Ireland are women. Addressing the theme of International Women’s Day, President Maurice Buckley said that he “chooses to challenge engineers Ireland sectors to address the issue of diversity and inclusion within their committees”.
Susan McGarry, Managing Director, Ecocem Ireland chaired the panel discussion at the event to highlight the vital role of women in the Engineering profession and was joined by a panel of diversity and inclusion experts, including Sarah Claxton, Organisational Development Manager, ESB, and Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion committee in Engineers Ireland, and PJ Rudden, former President of Engineers Ireland and Chairman of Construction Sector Innovation and Digital Adoption at Dept of Public Expenditure and Reform. The lively discussion focused on the gender pay gap and how the lack of women in senior management roles perpetuates this gap and was followed up by a very animated and constructive Q&A session.
The next Women in Engineering event will take place on International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June 2021, with additional events to follow throughout the year.