Put a woman engineer on our bank notes, urges WES

engineerWoman300In a letter to the Bank of England, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) has argued the case for keeping a woman on one of the UK’s bank notes, suggesting that by choosing a woman who has excelled in a non-traditional role we would be sending out a great message to young people.

Dawn Bonfield, who is Vice President of the oldest organisation of women engineers in the world, said: “Young girls need to see that women can succeed in non-traditional roles, and we need to start celebrating the achievements of our pioneering women. We have suggested that one of our electrical engineers such as Caroline Haslett (pictured) could be featured, or the pilot Amy Johnson. Both women have been past Presidents of the Women’s Engineering Society. Ada Lovelace was another well known woman who has made it in a non-traditional career, and this is something we need to talk about and celebrate.”

The Society believes that showing role models in this way would send a clear message to the population and especially to young girls that it wasn’t only men who had been successful in technical careers. With a skills shortage in engineering forecast it was vital that girls were encouraged to consider engineering as a career option.

The WES will be 95 years old next year and was formed originally by the women who took up engineering during World War One.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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