BCS Women at Houses of ParliamentOver 100 female engineers, mathematicians and scientists from across the UK recently gathered for an event at the Houses of Parliament.

The World Engineer Reception was hosted by Jeremy Corbyn MP and Chi Onwurah MP to celebrate women in engineering and the contribution they make. The event also aimed to discuss ways that the UK can attract and retain more women in the sector.

11 senior women from BCS The Chartered Institute for IT attended the event.

Gillian Arnold, Chair of BCSWomen and one of the attendees said: “Encouraging diversity in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) is vital for the UK. In the technology profession, women account for just 16% of the workforce. Women are prolific users of technology, we need them to also be involved in its development and deployment to ensure that tomorrow’s technical solutions include innovations by (and for) women users.

“Also, employers need to be able to recruit from the widest pool of available talent,  so we really need to make sure that girls and women realise that there are fantastic career options available to them in STEM, and that employers realise that, as Jeremy Corbyn MP, said last night, ‘Women can do anything they put their minds to’ “.

Chi Onwurah MP, a Chartered Electrical Engineer, was present at the event and told attendees how 25 years after starting out on her career as an engineer the proportion of women engineers remained exactly the same. Onwurah said the challenge of gender stereotyping still needs to be tackled.

At the event she called for all tech companies to adopt a Women in Tech Charter, similar to a Women in Finance Charter.