Celebrating the Prominence of Women in Engineering Sector- INWED 2020

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International Women in Engineering Day

Observed on 23 June, every year, this day celebrates the significance of women and their achievements in one of the most exciting and challenging industries- Engineering. As mentioned in the official website of INWED, it is an ‘International Awareness Campaign’ which aims to raise the profile of women in the Engineering Sector and encourages women by making them aware of the vast opportunities available in the same.

Like every year the organization focuses on connecting with as many people, especially women, engineers, non-engineers irrespectively. Amidst the Corona Crisis, all the activities will take place virtually on the official INWED Activities page. This year INWED  wants to reach out to people asking them to write their stories of how Engineers shape the World and help make our planet a better, safer, more innovative and exciting place to be, as mentioned on its official site.

Some Important Facts

Celebrated on: 23 June, Annually

Launched in : 2014

Parent Organization: Women’s Engineering Society

Headquarters: UK

Theme for 2020: Shape the World

Let’s dive into Details!

  • As mentioned above the campaign was initiated seven years ago, in 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) on the occasion of its 95th Anniversary.
  • With its efforts, it registered its first achievement in the year 2016, by receiving UNESCO patronage
  • Soon it achieved another milestone by gaining an international status because of active and enthusiastic participants, thereby achieving its vision of becoming global. The day is now celebrated around the world with great enthusiasm.
  • The campaign targets Government, Educational Groups, Professional Engineering Institutions, Parents and Individuals for their events, aiming to raise the profile of engineering careers among women by showcasing exciting opportunities in the sector. 

The Parent Organization WES

  • The charity ‘Women’s Engineering Society’ was formed in the year 1919 at the end of the First World War.
  • Women as technicians were employed for the First War but as the purpose was fulfilled and the War ended, they were stopped being hired.
  • It was then, when some women pioneers took a stand and laid the foundation of ‘Women’s Engineering Society’.
  • Since then the charity is working to ensure equality of women in the Engineering sector and has marked its significance by achieving an international status.

Objectives of WES

It can be rightly said, that International Women’s Day in Engineering is a celebration of the success of this Society. Following are the objectives of the organization:

  • Encourage and support women to achieve their true potential as engineers and scientists by rewarding their excellence for the same.
  • To promote Engineering as a career option among female students by making them aware of the bright opportunities available in the sector.
  • Working effectively with organizations and promoting gender equality in the workplace to maintain the historic legacy and future effectiveness of the Society.

Powerful Women Engineers who have made our Country Proud!

‘The Pioneer’ A. Lalitha

  • The lady created history by becoming the first female engineer of India in 1940, the time when women were struggling to gain basic education. She graduated from the oldest technical institution of India, College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), University of Madras.
  • She faced many hurdles in her career including financial restrictions. Still she was able to create an identity of her own. She joined the Central Standards Organization of India in Shimla. Later she quitted her job to join her father in his research work.
  • She couldn’t continue with the research work due to financial reasons and joined the Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) where she worked in the Engineering Department and the Sales Division, Calcutta.
  • She worked as a Design Engineer. She had an important role in the project ‘The Bhakra Nangal Dam’, the largest in India.
  • In 1953, she was elected by the Council of the ‘Institution of Electrical Engineers’ to be an associate member. In 1966 she attained full time member status.
  • In a post published at altogether.swe.org, it is mentioned that she was invited in the First International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES) organised by the Society of Women Engineers in 1964. As quoted in the post, “At that time there was no Indian chapter of the organization, and Lalitha took it upon herself to attend the conference in private capacity, overcoming many hurdles to do so.”
  • A.Lalitha is a true inspiration for women of our country. She had a dream, and she fulfilled it.

‘Missile Woman of India’ Tessy Thomas 

  • She graduated from the Government College of Engineering.She is the Director General of Aeronautical Systems, DRDO (appointed in 2018).
  • Credited with the title of ‘The First Woman Scientist to head a missile project in India’, the lady was appointed by Dr.A.P.J Abul Kalam.
  • She was the associate project director of the Agni III missile project. She also headed the Agni IV mission which proved to be successful when tested in 2011. She was also appointed the project director for Agni V mission.
  • By achieving so many milestones, she has become one of the most influential ladies of India.

‘Rocket Woman of India’ Ritu Karidhal

  • The pride of India, this lady has done ME in Aerospace Engineering and joined ISRO in 2007.
  • She was the Deputy Operations Director of the Mars Orbiter Mission, Mangalyaan, 2013 launched by ISRO.
  • Another notable achievement by her was that she was the Mission Director of one of the most ambitious lunar projects of India, Chandrayaan-2.
  • She was honored with the ‘ISRO Young Scientist Award’ in 2007 by the then President of India, Dr A.P.J Abul Kalam.

Muthayya Vinitha

  • With an engineering degree in electronics, Muthayya Vinitha is a product of College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG) , the same college from where the pioneer A. Lalitha graduated.
  • Appointed as the Project Director of the Chandrayaan-2 Mission, she became the first lady to lead the interplanetary mission at ISRO.
  • She has been Deputy Project director for several satellite projects like Cartosat-1, Oceansat-2 and Megha Tropiques.
  • She was honoured with the Best Scientist Award in the year 2007.

Briefing Up!

There are several Women in the Engineering Sector, who have not only added glory to our Nation, but have also proved to the world that they are no less than their male counterparts. Let us celebrate the day 23 June by honoring the existing Female engineers and encourage and inspire girls who see a bright future in this challenging yet amazing sector- Engineering.

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