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Powering Change on International Women in Engineering Day

  • Written by Charlotte Venner
  • June 21, 2024
Female stationary engineer working at industrial mechanical room, examining the operation of the ventilation system in the factory.

For the 11th year in a row, June 23 represents International Women in Engineering Day, celebrating the contributions of women in engineering worldwide. While women have faced underrepresentation and lack of access to opportunities since engineering emerged as a specific profession in the 18th century, significant strides have been made over the years. As we recognize the tremendous achievements and contributions of women engineers in the energy sector, it’s important to continue fostering inclusive, women-led environments in which diverse talent can flourish.

What is International Women in Engineering Day 

International Women in Engineering Day began in 2014 in the United Kingdom, and in 2017 became a global event. Today, International Women in Engineering Day provides companies, like Resource Innovations, with the opportunity to celebrate the women engineers powering a cleaner future. 

Persevering in a male-dominated field 

Although women have historically faced challenges in the male-dominated field of engineering, the industry is incrementally improving as it acknowledges the contributions and need for female engineers. Since the American Society of Mechanical Engineers was founded in 1880 with only male members, the field has gradually opened to women. The election of the first woman to the society in 1918 marked the beginning of this positive change. Today, while the field continues to evolve and create more opportunities for women to contribute their talents, there is still much needed progress to be made.  

Despite making up almost half the overall workforce, only 13% of engineers in the U.S. are women. Of all employed women qualified with a bachelor’s degree, only 7.7% are working in science and engineering and within that group, only 9% are electrical engineers.

Occasions like the International Women in Engineering Day bring more visibility to the crucial role of women in powering change and building a brighter future. RI proudly boasts a diverse team of engineers, with over 20% being female. They serve in various capacities, offering innovative programs and technical services to utilities and end-use clients. 

Powering a cleaner future 

Women have made tremendous progress within energy and engineering in the last thirty years. Since the 1990s, the percentage of women in engineering has risen from 9% to 13%. Energy engineers are essential in shaping the future of energy. They develop sustainable, efficient, and environmentally-friendly solutions to meet the world's increasing energy demands.

Contributions from women engineers of all backgrounds have moved the energy sector forward, from groundbreaking research on renewable energy and new technologies, to the founding of companies and organizations to raise up women in the field.

What comes next 

Today, women-led companies are championing and supporting a diverse workforce of qualified female engineers. At a time when equity and the climate crisis are front of mind for many, women engineers are making significant strides in advancing the energy sector and driving towards a cleaner future. For the next 364 days, empowering the women engineers around us remains just as important as on June 23.