Women in Engineering: How can we transform the future?

Lucinda Periac-Arnold

Senior Publishing Editor, Science Technology and Medicine Journals, SAGE Publishing


Lucinda has worked in academic publishing for eight years, spending several years prior in the civil service. A graduate of Goldsmiths College and University of Manchester with a background in American Studies, she has long taken a personal and professional interest in advocating for equality in all areas of life – including, but not limited to, the advancement of women and BAME researchers in academia.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) subjects suffer from low levels of diversity, and within STEM subjects, engineering especially so.  A 2018 survey by the Office for National Statistics tells us that a mere 12% of the professional engineering workforce in the UK are women. In addition, a whopping 32% of women switch away from a STEM subject at university and only 30% of women who go on to earn related bachelor’s degrees are still working in engineering 20 years later. 

Why is that? How do we change it? How do we balance for better and transform for the future?

Today, on International Women’s Day (IWD), SAGE is launching a campaign in celebration of the Women’s Engineering Society’s (WES) International Women in Engineering Day 2019 (INWED19) taking place on the 23rd of June. Over the next 108 days we will be highlighting one article per day, each authored by at least one woman and published in our portfolio of engineering journals. There will also be blog contributions from some of our partners, each discussing a key issue relating to women in engineering, and how we can “transform for the future” – this year’s INWED chosen theme which fits nicely alongside the “balance for better” theme of IWD. 

As well as celebrating our women engineering partners, our activities will also be a celebration of the centenary for WES.  A group which was formed in response to increased pressure for women to vacate jobs after the First World War, in order to create space for men.  Today WES seeks to promote, inspire and support the professional development of women engineers.

At SAGE we believe such advocacy efforts are crucial to the continuing development and furthering of scientific studies. As a publisher we have a responsibility to support the transformation of the research landscape, an important part of this being through the promotion of diversity. Many of the female authors, editors and learned society members that we work with are at the frontier of science and we hope that by helping to provide a platform for these women to showcase their research, as well as by celebrating their achievements within this field, we will help inspire the next generation of women engineers.

So please do join us today on International Women’s Day, as we #balanceforbetter and begin our celebrations of women in engineering.

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