International Women in Engineering Day 2022: #IMAGINETHEFUTURE

By Victoria Fellows


International Women in Engineering Day is celebrating its 9th year. INWED gives female engineers around the world a profile when they are still hugely under-represented in their professions. This year Women In Engineering Society (WES) is celebrating the top 50 women in engineering Inventors and Innovators. These are the brightest and bravest women in engineering, who identify an unmet need, then create the solution, or improve existing products and processes to make our lives easier. 

At IC Resources, we are privileged to be surrounded by some phenomenal women. As a company, we are proud that 45% of our team are female in an industry (both recruitment and technology) that is traditionally male dominated. 

We are inspired daily by the women that we encounter across all of our sectors and here are a few we would like to celebrate... 

  • Semiconductor: Vaysh Kewada is the CEO, Co-Founder and VP of Engineering for Salience Labs. For 18 months prior to its spinout, Vaysh was a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company, which she joined in February 2017 fresh from a MSc in Physics from Imperial College London.
  • IT: Stacy Mallon is the Site Lead for Wolfspeed in Northern Ireland. She studied for her MSC in Mathematics and Computer Science in Belfast before becoming a Financial Engineer. She then became a Senior Engineer and then Project Manager before spending the majority of her career with SR Labs and Vela who are now Exegy. She joined Wolfspeed in early 2022 and is helping the company to harness the power of Silicon Carbide to change the world for the better. 
  • HR: Mary O’Dowd is the European HR (Human Resources) Lead for Allegro MicroSystems where she has worked since 2017. During her career she has developed an international HR function to support an organisation which grew from 2000 staff to over 5,000 and a $multi billion business, led an organisational transformation resulting in £1m in cost efficiencies and worked with the board on the due diligence and integration of 7 mergers and acquisition on a £100m business alongside many other achievements.
  • Electronics: Giorgia Longobardi is the founder and CEO of Cambridge GaN Devices who delivers easy-to-use and efficient GaN solutions to make greener power electronics possible. During her PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Cambridge University, Giorgia worked on international projects with top semiconductor companies, through which she learned about diverse cultures operating in this field and gained experience managing and budgeting multi-partner projects. 
  • Software: Hao Zheng is the co-founder at RoboK and her vision is to make intelligent mobility accessible and affordable. She finished her MSC in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge in 2017 and began project managing at Arm for a short while before RoboK’s spinout with co-founder, Liangchuan Gu.
  • Executive: Janet Collyer is a Non-Executive Director and an inspiring leader in electronic design. Linking technology to client and market needs Janet has create profitable businesses leading global product and services development, marketing, effective ecosystem partnerships and operations. She spent 30 years with Cadence Design Systems until 2020 and is now currently a Non-Exec Director for Aerospace Technology Institute, the chair of the Machine Discovery board and Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee for EnSilica.
  • Scientific: Zhanet Zaharieva is the COO and Co-Founder of Quantum Dice. She has her Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and graduated in 2019 and then founded Quantum Dice who are developing the world's first compact source-device independent quantum random number generator. 
  • Sales and Marketing: Yanwn Chen is the Founder and CEO of Phinxt Robotics, a start-up born in 2022. She has earned two PhD diplomas in Computer Science by creating advanced technology for high-performance coordination in robotics. She has deep technical expertise which comes from years of researching mathematical and logic models for cyber-physical systems and large-scale robotics synchronisation and practical ones, which are the result of 10 years of experience in C++, Java, and C# programming.

Despite the work of these exceptional women, there is still a huge gender disparity in engineering. A report posted in March 2022 by Engineering UK shows that only 16.5% of those working in engineering roles are women (but this is s 6% increase over the last decade - however...still a long way to go)

It seems the route of this disproportion starts in childhood. Of those participating in engineering educational pathways (2017/18) only 22% of A Level entrants, 17% of engineering and technology first-degree entrants and 9% of engineering apprenticeship starts are women, despite generally performing better than boys in STEM subjects at school. The education system is where we must start to educate all young people, especially women, about the opportunities that engineering affords. 

Our founder Neil Dickins is chairperson of UK Electronics Skills Foundation, the only charity that is linking industry to secondary schools, universities and government, in a joined-up-thinking programme that encourages young people to study electronics and computer science. One of UKESF’s flagship programmes is Girls into Electronics.

Neil says: ‘UKESF is entirely industry funded. Support from the government would allow us to turbocharge our activities and have a lasting impact on the long-term success of UK PLC. Millions of pounds invested in primary and secondary school resources would result in billions of pounds of value and tax revenue in the long run.’

Over the next decade we hope to see a more significant rise in the number of women entering male dominated industries (not just engineering), and the list of the women who are changing the world we live in continue to grow. To discuss this please contact me

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