I've read many articles focusing on the status of women in engineering roles which illustrate the unconscious beliefs and expectations we have as a society and our attitudes towards the gender issue. Although the figures for the male / female engineer ratio emphasize the chronic shortage of talent in manufacturing, trying to stop the conversation about gender differences can only deepen discrimination in our sector.
I believe that successful women in engineering should act as champions for their gender and accept the weight of their individual characteristics. By embracing what they are, women can achieve greatness and become role models for those entering the profession. However, if we decide to call a halt to the debate about gender differences in the workplace - believing that discrimination laws have fixed the problem for us - the result will be an even thicker and more impenetrable glass ceiling.
The media can do its bit by highlighting the most successful women in engineering and celebrating them as role models, exactly as Eureka did in May. We need to tell the story and include the ups and downs, challenges and successes each of these women has been through. It is my belief that it is up to each successful woman to pave the way and encourage the debate to open.