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Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

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Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by Joseph Silmon on Jun 1, 2012 6:05 am

Starting a campaign to abolish Young Woman Engineer of the Year or replace it with a non-discriminatory equivalent
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Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by Jonathan Wilson on Jun 25, 2012 8:58 pm

And for what it's worth, here's the E&T news report on the 2011 winner:

http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2011/dec/iet-award.cfm

Whichever side of the debate you stand on, you've got to admit that Charlotte Joyce looks pretty pleased with her award, if not her proximity to Myleene Klass.

Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by Joseph Silmon on Jun 26, 2012 12:03 am

Brilliant! Please vote, folks!

Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by Graham Prebble on Jun 27, 2012 2:36 pm

Err .. no Joe, I don't agree with that. Societies need role models, heroes, aspiration. In a field dominated by one gender there is a pervasive view that it 'must not be for me'.

I am a school governor and we get this all the time - it take positive action (not the same thing as positive discrimination) to encourage, educate and give belief to do something that's not typically 'of your gender'. That includes science, engineering etc for girls and food sciences etc for boys.

Just because there is no reason women should not be engineers is not the same thing as saying the door is open for them, its up to them, and they don't need any encouragement.

Discuss ?

Originally posted by: z315870

Graham, I think you defeat your own argument here!



If there is no justifiable reason for women to be less proficient engineers than men, then there is also no justifiable reason for men to be less proficient than women at being good engineering role models.



Ergo this award should be ope to all.



Discuss?quote>
Eur Ing Graham Prebble BSc MBA CEng IET Volunteer PRA, Assessor and Interviewer

Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by Joseph Silmon on Jun 28, 2012 5:24 am

Just because there is no reason women should not be engineers is not the same thing as saying the door is open for themquote>


I wasn't suggesting we don't have role models at all. It's fine to say the door is open to all. What I have been saying all along is that it doesn't take a woman to say those things - anybody can say it.

I agree about positive action, but YWE's eligibility rules go much further than that, though - it's not just positive action but a form of discrimination, call it positive or negative it's still unfair and I think it's a bad example to set if we want women to feel they are competing in an even playing field.

Maybe we don't want that. Maybe we want women engineers to feel they'll get an easy ride, but I doubt that somehow, because we wouldn't retain them for long as once they discover the harsh realities they would up and leave.

I notice you mention self-belief, Graham, I think that is key to the entire thing and I don't think it's something we can do a lot about as it depends much more on the teachers and parents of young people. I see our role as more spreading awareness of the opportunities - it's up to parents and teachers to inspire young people with the belief that they can take up the opportunities we offer.

Just to give an example of this, a couple of years ago I hosted a work experience student from a comprehensive school in Tipton (in a particularly deprived area of the West Midlands). This young woman hugely impressed me with her enthusiasm, quick learning and initative. She'd ended up with us (a university research department) because she'd expressed an interest in physics and her teachers had turned to contacts at the University to try to set up a placement; in the end, instead of Physics she got Electronic Engineering, because I was available to spend the time and nobody from Physics was. This wasn't an ideal situation and must have been hugely intimidating for her (coming from a community where very few people attend university and unemployment in general is very high), but I met one of her teachers and it was clear he'd been instrumental in helping her realise her interests, fuelling her self-belief and ambitions. He was so full of pride over this bright young woman that he was fit to burst. This teacher was the one who had the opportunity to put time and effort into inspiring this young woman. You'll note that the teacher is male.

I would argue that it is there that the power exists to kindle self-belief - all we can do as outsiders to the day-to-day lives of young people is to show them the opportunities that are available to them.

You don't have to be female to do that.


On a slightly more flippant note, but perhaps pointing out how ridiculous it is to have a prize open to only one gender, what would happen if a transgender person were nominated? Would they have to undergo some kind of medical before being accepted as eligible? Would pre-op male-to-female transexuals be accepted? Their own identity might well be female, yet their physiology would be male.

Here are a couple of things I think we can do to show ourselves as being more open, without having a "you're a good engineer, for a girl" prize:

1 - Stop referring to engineering/science as a "male-dominated" profession. It implies there's some kind of conspiracy to keep women out. I wouldn't even talk about the gender balance unless asked. Then point out that the disparity occurs at the stage of application, rather than being a result of discrimination in selection for education or jobs. Also point out that these days many more women are applying and working in the industry than used to be the case. This must surely be true, if my own observations bear out across the industry.

2 - Open up the issue of diversity - it's not just about women and men, it's about disabled people, certain ethnic minorities, and most of all about people from poor families. The diversity section of our output to students should focus on the ways that are open for every sector of society to take part. For example, a slide showing how poor students will always be able to afford to attend university (remember, they have been told a lot of lies by certain political groups who haven't realised that the rubbish they talk is effecting the very social change they claim to oppose).

3 - Select case studies that reflect the diversity of the population. I don't have a problem with that - deliberately doing a slide on a woman engineer you know because you want all the audience to see someone "like them". It's the paying them £1000 for it that I have a problem with.

Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by mbirdi on Aug 5, 2012 12:06 am

The IET often uses 10 year cycles before deciding on changes. By that time decision makers will have retired and so consequences of blame and change won't affect them.

Give it a few more years and the whole thing will be scrapped. face-icon-small-smile.gif

Re: Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by James Shaw on Apr 18, 2019 4:03 am

I am sorry to see that Young Woman of the Year Award now has a religious sub-category, [E&T Vol 14 Issue 4 May 2019, inside back cover].

Re: Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by John Sim on Apr 19, 2019 9:08 pm

James Shaw:
I am sorry to see that Young Woman of the Year Award now has a religious sub-category, [E&T Vol 14 Issue 4 May 2019, inside back cover].

I don't have a copy but could you post a picture please? 

Re: Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by James Shaw on Apr 20, 2019 6:07 pm

John,

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I wouldn't expect to see football team or political party colours either so why this?

Actually this competition would make more sense if it was old woman engineer of the year, that at least would show young women that it was possible to have a career in engineering!

Re: Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by John Sim on Apr 20, 2019 7:05 pm

James Shaw:
John,

I wouldn't expect to see football team or political party colours either so why this?

Actually this competition would make more sense if it was old woman engineer of the year, that at least would show young women that it was possible to have a career in engineering!

Thank you for posting.   Not quite a subcategory!   But I see your point of them reinforcing a stereotype.   Alas, they also forgot to mention that Islamic countries tend to object to women being educated - See Malala Yousafzai for details!

One of the problems with a lot of the IET's media output is that it's chocked full of stock images.   Pictures photographers have taken in fairly generic situations to represent a cross spectrum of possibilities.   I've been asking them to explain who the people are and their relevance to engineering!   Sadly, all go unanswered.

If the IET can't find engineers, any engineer, worth photographing, to promote engineering what are they doing?   Using generic stock photographs that you see being used elsewhere effectively means the IET is irrelevant.   If it was one or two, you could understand, but this is practically every single bit of media going on Facebook or Instagram - which today is the face of the IET.

Sadly the IET with the rebranding of a pink equals sign really was the death of it.   They're running their own social experiment using member's funds.   I'm not against them promoting engineering for all genders, but in the IET's world they only concentrate on one and it's not male.   Even promoting engineering in general seems to only be at school level as we've seen with recent events at Savoy Place.   Only at Savoy Place and with the recent closure of the Scottish office the London centric bias just got stronger.

So if you're female, in a London school, of a certain religion, the IET wants to hear from you.   Otherwise, don't call.
   

Re: Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by James Shaw on Apr 21, 2019 6:23 am

Agreed.

The E&T Magazine in particular increasingly seems to be telling us to act according to the new orthodoxy on so many subjects, as if we all need to be re-educated and we aren't getting enough of the same line from the likes of the BBC or The Guardian.

I find it a very frightening orthodoxy, our use of language is being inverted. The radicals used to claim that unity was strength, hence the trades unions, now apparently strength comes from diversity! Politicians tell us with a straight face that they will not tolerate intolerance, (tolerate, to put up with, now becomes 'embrace' or promote). The social pressure to conform, to be 'PC', increases as Facebook and Twitter act as both gatekeepers of opinion and enablers of the witch-hunters, The police, unable to catch real criminals, urge the public to report 'hurtful' remarks, 'even though they are not illegal'. One might hope that the world of engineering would be a bastion of rationality but not if the IET has its way - 'equality' means women winning all the prizes,the message to all our boys is don't even bother. Fortunately biological sex no longer exists or at most is 'a social construct'. Gender is Queen so we can all 'transition'!

Re: Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by John Sim on Apr 21, 2019 9:27 am

James Shaw:
Agreed.

The E&T Magazine in particular increasingly seems to be telling us to act according to the new orthodoxy on so many subjects,

The E&T Magazine has declined in to irrelevance.   I can't remember the last time I read an interesting article in it.   Now they're lifting stories from the general media, such as teardown for an electronic gadget or the artistic recreation of a rocket's blueprints (not enough to actually build a rocket!).
 


I find it a very frightening orthodoxy, our use of language is being inverted. The radicals used to claim that unity was strength, hence the trades unions, now apparently strength comes from diversity!

Politicians tell us with a straight face that they will not tolerate intolerance, (tolerate, to put up with, now becomes 'embrace' or promote).

I had this discussion before with a friend.   Essentially to "tolerate" is to state there is a problem with someone but you put up with it.   Often used where diversity is with gender, sexuality, or race.   Tolerance is to say that your race is wrong, your gender is wrong, or your religious beliefs are wrong.   What I said was that it should be "acceptance" because there is no problems with someone's life choices (assuming they're not trying to kill you!), or how they were born as they can't change that.
 


One might hope that the world of engineering would be a bastion of rationality but not if the IET has its way - 'equality' means women winning all the prizes,the message to all our boys is don't even bother.

I would much prefer it if the IET had Young Engineer Of The Year and then offered prizes for male or female.   Two categories and promoted each equally.    It's one reason why I'm leaving the IET - I've had enough.

They're no longer representing electronic & electrical engineers.

They've got a gender bias.

Their output is increasing irrelevant.

I'm pulling the ripcord.

Next problem is getting the engineering council to recognise another body that does represent us engineers now the IET has abandoned us.
 


Fortunately biological sex no longer exists or at most is 'a social construct'. Gender is Queen so we can all 'transition'!

Maybe that's what we need to do?   "Transition"?    Going to be difficult to find size 11 stilettos...
 

Re: Young Woman Engineer of the Year award - end the gender discrimination

Posted by Lisa Miles on Apr 23, 2019 4:28 pm

I'm very disappointed by the views being expressed here...
 

I am sorry to see that Young Woman of the Year Award now has a religious sub-category, [E&T Vol 14 Issue 4 May 2019, inside back cover].


James, your comments on 'religious subcategories' is completely incorrect and inappropriate. How have you come to that conclusion just by looking at the advertisement on the inside rear cover of last months E&T magazine? It does not state any such thing anywhere within that advert. The advert contains images of previous winners Sophie Harker, Dr Ozak Esu, Shajida Akthar and Lorna Bennet 

I'm now locking this resurrected thread (originally started in 2012) as the content within it is out of date. 



 
Lisa Miles - Online Community Manager, Engineering Communities
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