The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) is delighted to announce the winners of the Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability awards. Now in its fifth year, the 2020 WE50 celebrates women who have made a significant contribution within sustainability. Winning nominees were required to provide evidence of their successful support of UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals or the Net Zero Carbon Programme.
Even in the current climate, the number and standard of nominations were high, emphasising the exceptional achievements made by women in this field. The WE50 awards were judged by a panel of industry experts.
Sally Sudworth, WE50 Head Judge, the Environment Agency’s National Programme Manager for Asset Management & FCRM Sustainability Lead (Net Zero Carbon Programme) and WES Honorary Secretary said, “The panel of judges was thrilled by with the outstanding achievements demonstrated by all of the winners and were thrilled by the difference being made by the candidates”.
The WE50 awards seek to recognise the wealth of female talent within engineering and related disciplines; an annual celebration aligned with the campaign International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) which takes place on 23 June and is also co-ordinated by WES. INWED celebrates the achievements of women in engineering and related roles and highlights the opportunities available to engineers of the future; this year the campaign is partnering with UNESCO UK. INWED is only made possible through sponsorship and in 2020 the following organisations are providing their support: Boeing, Dialog Semiconductor, ECITB, GCHQ, Institute of Refrigeration, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, NSIRC, OPITO, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Air Force, Sonnedix, V12 Footwear and Wiley. The WE50 theme changes each year to recognise women working in different fields and from varying routes into engineering.
Elizabeth Donnelly, Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Engineering Society explained why WES had chosen the theme of sustainability for 2020. “The 2019 Climate Emergency Declarations followed unprecedented weather conditions across the planet. Engineers were instrumental in repairing the Toddbrook Dam after it collapsed in August last year, and it will be engineers who will provide many of the solutions needed to address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We felt that it was the right time to showcase the amazing women who are already working on these issues.”
Despite the unusual set of circumstances the country finds itself in this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, WES will still be celebrating the WE50 winners. The 2020 winners are published on the INWED website and celebrated during WES’ own virtual INWED event on 23 June and across social media and press throughout the world. A full list of the WE50 winners is available at www.inwed.org.uk/2020winners.html.