The Happold Foundation is proud to have been involved in the Celebrating Women in Engineering event for INWED-19, which was hosted by SheCanEngineer at the Institute of Engineering and Technology in London on Monday 24thJune.
This year’s theme was ‘How Diversity Will Transform Future Leadership’. The evening featured a panel discussion that addressed several issues faced by woman, ethnic minorities and LGBTQ+ groups in the workplace, and in particular in the world of engineering. The theme was discussed by a number of industry experts, including Christina Riley, Nike Folayan, Catrional Schnolke and Mark Whitby, and was chaired by Mara-Tafadzwa Makoni.
As well as the panel discussion, different organisations were given the opportunity to host a stand at the event to showcase their projects and commitment to diversity. The Happold Foundation provided sponsorship for BuroHappold Engineering to run a stand, which featured the employee-driven group called FAIR London. The group promotes the importance of inclusion for all identity groups within the firm.
BuroHappold’s Mairi Dean, Elle Beange and Kitty Walker took the opportunity to generate discussion around an intersectional understanding of women in society, and women in engineering. Designed to encourage debate and engagement, the stand included a ‘diversity library’ with suggested reading highlighting key issues around gender, race and equality, as well as examples of work by female engineers at BuroHappold, including keynote projects, leadership and awards. The representatives also demonstrated the Inclusive Design Team’s empathy props, which simulate visual impairments and the restrictive feeling of arthritis.
Mairi Dean – who is also a community ambassador for the Happold Foundation – said, “It was a real pleasure to listen to such successful women speak openly and honestly about the challenges they have faced, and that face us all. It is clear that there remains a need for an attitude shift among many; however, it is a comfort to know that there are lots of us striving for change. My key takeaway was that we must open these conversations around gender to include and recognise all kinds of difference and diversity.”