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Discover a Bright Future in STEM this International Women in Engineering Day!

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The 11th International Women in Engineering Day is coming up on the 23rd of June, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate! The campaign, which highlights the amazing work being done by women around the globe, plays an important role in educating and encouraging aspiring women engineers.  

This year’s exciting theme is #EnhancedByEngineering, and to get involved, we’re highlighting the many ways in which engineers run the world! 

Keep reading as we explore the many different engineering pathways on offer, as well as info on dismantling gender biases in the industry. In short, we want to encourage you to cultivate more girl power across Aotearoa’s engineering landscape!  

What is Engineering? 

Engineering is an industry shrouded in a certain level of mystique; it seems as if everyone has a rough understanding of what the term means but limited knowledge about what engineers actually do.  

In simple terms, engineering relates to maths and science-based designing, building, and testing processes. Their extensive knowledge and affinity for innovation keeps our world moving forward in more ways than one. New buildings, technology, and power systems all exist thanks to engineers. The best part? By choosing a career in engineering, you can contribute to the future of our world too! 

While this description skims the basics of engineering, it’s important to note that the day-to-day operations of an engineer vary considerably based on which area of engineering they’re engaged with. To provide a more comprehensive description of what it is that engineers really do, we’ve listed a few of the most popular types of engineering (and some short definitions of what they’re all about). This way, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the industry and discover what area appeals most to you!  

1. Computer Engineering 

If you’re a bona fide tech whiz, Computer Engineering might just be the avenue for you! Engineers working in this area use their knowledge of electricity, mathematics, and computer science to figure out new ways we can use technology.  

Computer Engineering is perfect for anyone interested in working on hardware, software, circuit boards, processors and more.  

2. Mechanical Engineering 

When you think ‘Mechanical Engineering,’ you should also be thinking ‘forces and motion.’ This branch of Engineering is concerned with the design, installation, manufacture, and operations of machines; particularly those with manufacturing processes.  

Basically, you’ll be exploring how things are made and how machines operate in order to produce products like electric generators, turbines and internal combustion engines. Sounds pretty cool if you ask us! 

3. Civil Engineering 

Engineers working in the Civil category are responsible for planning, designing and supervising the construction of buildings and infrastructure. Basically, most constructed elements that make our cities so livable exist because of civil engineers; without them, bridges, roads, tunnels and water systems wouldn’t be nearly as efficient! 

If you’re a community-minded individual who wants to see your local environment thrive, Civil Engineering could be perfect for you (and it’s never too early to start designing the perfect city).  

4. Electrical Engineering 

Unsurprisingly, electrical engineers are primarily involved in the study of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. It also covers the design and use of appliances and electrical equipment; it’s exciting stuff! 

If you’re interested in developing equipment like electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems or power generation equipment, this type of engineering could be your perfect fit and set you up for an electrifying career! 

5. Architectural Engineering 

If you want to design innovative and futuristic buildings, architectural engineering may just be the career path for you. Engineers working in this area are responsible for the mechanical, electrical and structural side of construction, as well as the planning that goes into building processes and systems.  

While architectural engineers aren’t always involved in plotting a structure’s design, they’re the ones who are responsible for making sure new buildings are put up correctly! The most exciting part is the role architectural engineers play in creating the cityscape of tomorrow; just think of all the opportunities! 

Although  these five areas of engineering are some of the most popular, there are tonnes of other engineering avenues that you can explore. The engineering industry is filled with incredibly diverse opportunities, meaning that everyone and anyone can find their perfect fit! 

If you want to learn more, check out our Science, Technology & Analytics industry page, or dive into the world of Building, Construction & Engineering! 

Women in engineering graphic

Women in Engineering: Breaking Down Gender Bias 

A recent study by Engineering NZ found that only 14% of engineers are women; a disappointing statistic that truly stresses the need for more girl-power in STEM.  

Here in Aotearoa, the gender split in Engineering is particularly troubling due to women being distinctly underrepresented and a pay gap that’s above the national average. Jane MacMaster, Chief Engineer at Engineers Australia, attributes this split to a “relatively low level of understanding of what an engineer is.”  

While these statistics can be disheartening, they should also serve as a source of inspiration for women dreaming of careers in STEM. The only way that institutional and industrial change can be enacted is if more women work to change the system from the inside. In essence, we need to combat the gender split through education, inclusion, and empowerment, and the best way to do so is to enlist more women engineers! 

The Importance of a Women’s Perspective 

The case for women’s inclusion in the engineering industry goes beyond equality and fairness; it’s also a smart business decision (and helps solve wider societal issues, too!). 

In order to meet the needs of women, engineering companies would benefit greatly from an actual woman’s perspective. Most of us know about the statistics proving that office temperatures are geared towards the preferences of men and, thus, result in a chilly 9-5 for women. When we have women working on processes, it results in a balanced perspective that can prevent incidents like the thermostat sexism debacle.  

Be The Change You Want To See! 

If you ask us, International Women in Engineering Day is the perfect opportunity to forge a rewarding career in engineering and show off some girl power! Start your journey today by heading over to our STEM employer page; you never know, you might just find your dream job! 


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