On June 23 we celebrate the International Day of Women in Engineering in which we take the opportunity to look back and discover some women who made history. Although a large part of the referents are still male, it is important that those women gain presence who, unfairly, seem to be relegated to the background.
And it is that according to the latest Eurostat report, in 2020, 41% of women were engaged in engineering and other scientific jobs. This is almost half, so on this International Day of Women in Engineering we must draw attention to them.
The woman engineer at the university
The presence of women engineers in the university is increasing, although the numbers continue to show a greater presence of men in this type of race where there are multiple engineering specialties: computer, civil, electrical, mechanical, industrial or chemical. However, this may have several reasons, from a lack of interest in the subjects taught or a lack of references.
We want to pay attention to this today, speaking of those women engineers who made very interesting contributions that are currently unknown. Women who went against the precepts of their time and who opted to train in careers where the presence of men was even greater than today. Therefore, on this day, it is important to give them the prominence they deserve.
Women engineers who made history
One of the first names that should come to mind is that of Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu. She was one of the few women who ventured into engineering and did not have it easy at all. In fact, in Bucharest she was rejected, but in Berlin she managed to finish her degree graduating with honors. She was a laboratory director, professor, and the first female engineer to join an engineering association.
Road engineering is not one of the most requested branches, but Araceli Sanchez Urquijo He found in her his vocation and passion. She was the first woman to perform this type of work and all women who wish to study this type of engineering should not forget her name. She was a person focused on what she wanted and that in the middle of 1949 she managed to graduate in what she wanted to dedicate herself to.
Who was the first computer programmer? The answer is Ada Lovelace. He developed an algorithm and also deduced that computers could create graphics or even compose music in a few years. She wasn’t wrong. Today computers can do much more and thanks to her contributions today we must thank her. A name that we must not forget.
Other names for women in engineering would be Helen Augusta Blanchard who created the zigzag sewing machine, Hady Lamar that contributed to long-distance communications and evelyn berezin thanks to which today we can book tickets online. Contributions of women in engineering that should not be forgotten and that we remember on this International Day of Women Engineers.
The importance of the reference
All the names of women mentioned deserve to be known just like that of so many men. Therefore, this day is also an attempt to vindicate all those contributions made by women engineers, which changed the course of history and which were relevant to today. In addition, these female referents can encourage many female students to choose engineering careers if that’s what they want to do.
Sometimes, we underestimate the importance of referents and yet it is very high. A young woman interested in computer science who knows what Ada Lovelace did can enable her to walk towards a training that will make her a woman engineer who can develop the job of her dreams.
Not all women are going to want to be engineers, of course, but references can help those who may be hesitating about what to do and who may be passionate about civil or electrical engineering, for example. There are so many types of engineering that there is room for them in all of them and Eurostat data on employment in the scientific and engineering sector, mentioned at the beginning, are revealing.