International Women in Engineering Day

Published On: June 20th, 2024|Categories: Blog|

International Women in Engineering Day, June 23rd, brought to you by Women’s Engineering Society (WES) will celebrate its 11th year in 2024. They will again be promoting the amazing work that women engineers across the globe are doing. This year’s theme is #Enhancedbyengineering.

From the Society of Women Engineers Website:

Employment of Women in Engineering

Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields in the United States. While the number of men and women working in life science occupations, such as biological sciences, has reached parity, the percentage of women employed in engineering has unfortunately increased slowly in the last three decades. For example, in the 1990’s women represented nine percent of the individuals working in architecture and engineering. By 2023, the percentage of women professionals in those fields had grown to 16.7 percent, but they are still underrepresented compared to their male counterparts.

Sources: Corbett, C., & Hill, C. (2015). Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing. American Association of University Women. 1111 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (2024). Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity:2023, 2013,2003.

Employment of Women in Engineering

The percentage of female engineers and computer professionals varies by specialization. In 2022, only 9% of electrical engineers were women compared to 32% of environmental engineers. In addition, only 18% of software developers and 25% of computer and information research scientists in the computer industry were women.

Source: U.S Census Bureau. Detailed occupation for the civilian employed population 16 years and over (2024). Tables B24115 and B24116.

I have collaborated with women in the dozen different manufacturing companies I have been at, but I can count on one hand how many of those women were engineers. It would only take both hands to count how many were in leadership positions.

The problem goes to encouraging and mentoring young females through their formative years. Many studies over the years show girls get better grades than boys do at all ages, including in math and science.

One analysis** of grades covering 1.6 million elementary, high school and university students shows that girls outperform boys at all ages. This includes science, technology, engineering and math subjects, the Australian researchers said. “Simulations of these differences suggest the top 10 percent of a class contains equal numbers of girls and boys in STEM, but more girls in non-STEM subjects” they said.

Mentoring and education regarding the opportunities in science, engineering and manufacturing are essential to helping young women recognize their possible career paths.

At PlastiCert we have engaged regularly with high school and even middle school students, highlighting the opportunities to both men AND women in manufacturing. To date, only 14% of PlastiCert coworkers  are women, but one is in a senior leadership position.

One of the best and brightest engineering interns PlastiCert has ever had is now working the medical manufacturing field in Ireland. She has been REMARKABLY successful, and we have watched her career progress from afar. Our problem with increasing our percentage is purely based in the lack of women pursuing the openings we have. Going forward we will continue talking with young people and urging young women to pursue their STEM education and consider manufacturing as a career.


* A 2020 Thomas Industrial Survey Report in collaboration with the national trade association, Women in Manufacturing, established a benchmark for diversity and business best practices in the manufacturing sector.

** From “Gender differences in individual variation in academic grades fail to fit expected patterns for STEM,” Nature Communications.


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