I often find myself torn when it comes to ‘women in’ days. While these days intend to celebrate and highlight the achievements of women in various fields, I believe that actual progress lies in celebrating all individuals, regardless of gender. We should strive for a world where excellence and contribution are recognised universally. I have been fortunate enough never to feel held back by my gender, but I understand that my experience might not be the same for everyone.

International Women in Engineering Day is not just another date marked on the calendar; it’s a celebration of the remarkable contributions of women in the engineering field and an inspiration to the next generation. As the owner of Fluency, a marketing agency dedicated to advanced materials and engineering sectors, I’ve worked with incredibly talented women who are breaking barriers and making significant strides in this dynamic industry.

Our journey into materials and process engineering began through different paths, but innovation, cutting-edge technologies, and endless opportunities have captivated and kept us engaged. Over the years, we’ve witnessed firsthand the impact women can make in engineering roles. However, today, I want to shine a light on the women engineers and the women who support and market this crucial industry.

There are numerous women whose work in engineering has been nothing short of inspirational. Here are just a few:

1. Edith Clarke made history by becoming the first woman to achieve a degree in electrical engineering. Her trailblazing accomplishments paved the way for future women in the field.

2. Emily Warren Roebling is recognised as the first female field engineer for her pivotal role in overseeing the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband fell ill. Her technical skills and unwavering commitment were instrumental in completing this iconic landmark.

3. Stephanie Kwolek’s invention of Kevlar profoundly impacted the composites industry, leading to significant advancements in materials science and engineering.

4. Ada Lovelace is celebrated as the first computer programmer to create the initial algorithm designed for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Her groundbreaking work laid the groundwork for modern computer science.

5. Elsie MacGill, the first female aviation engineer, made significant contributions to aeronautical engineering, particularly during World War II, earning her theĀ nickname “Queen of the Hurricanes” for producing Hawker Hurricane fighter planes.

6. Creola Katherine Johnson’s mathematical calculations were essential to the success of the first and subsequent US crewed spaceflights. Many people hold her work at NASA in high regard, and she has earned numerous awards and recognition for her mathematicsā€™ vital role in engineering.

At Fluency, we recognise the importance of bridging the gap between engineering innovation and commercial success. Our team of talented female marketers play a crucial role in this process. They have the expertise to communicate complex engineering concepts to broader audiences, making advanced materials and advanced engineering accessible and understandable.

As the Founder and Managing Director of The Fluency Business Group, I’ve dedicated 20 years to marketing in the advanced engineering and materials sectors. With a background in science-based A levels and a degree in business, I’m passionate about modern-day business and enjoy working with customers globally to grow the market in which I operate. Recently, I had the honour of co-authoring the “Structural Use of Fibre Polymer Composites,” published by The Institution of Structural Engineers.

During my professional journey, I have been fortunate to receive guidance, support, and inspiration from several exceptional women who have greatly influenced my path. Janette Baker, my Sheffield Hallam Marcoms lecturer, provided invaluable insights and mentorship that shaped my marketing career. Julie Humpherson, who managed me at Corus Steel, offered guidance and leadership that I still value today. Marcy Offner, one of the first people I met in the composites industry, left a lasting impression with her knowledge and passion. Thanks to her dedication and collaborative spirit, working alongside Sue Halliwell to organise the International Composites Summit is always a pleasure. Sarah Cruddas, the most inspirational space expert I know, has unparalleled enthusiasm and expertise in space exploration. Alison Willis, the CEO of Easyfairs UK and Global, leads the Advanced Engineering Show with exceptional skill and vision. Clara Frias, a great friend and the head of AMRC, has provided invaluable industry knowledge and support. Nelly Baron from JEC World is the most inspiring marketer, always encouraging me to believe in myself. Stella Job, a leader in sustainability, is doing crucial work for the future of our industry. Fay Smith from Avalon continuously pushes the boundaries of our industry through government initiatives and support. Many more incredible women have been part of my journey, and I am sure I will regret missing some names here.

It’s essential to highlight that our achievements are not defined by our gender but by who we are and the greatness we bring to our respective fields. We celebrate International Women in Engineering Day to acknowledge the achievements and contributions of women, but we also recognise that excellence transcends gender.

Through passion, dedication, and hard work, each of us has the power to drive change and inspire the next generation.

On this celebratory day, let’s continue to support and uplift one another, celebrate our successes, and strive for a future where diversity and inclusion are the norms, not the exceptions. Here’s to all the women making waves in engineering and beyond!

We want to hear from you! Who are the women in engineering who inspire you? Whether it’s a personal story or a historical figure, please share your stories in the comments below, on social media using the hashtag #INWED24, or even submit them for a future blog post. Let’s celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in engineering together!