Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) president Naomi Climer says getting more women involved in engineering would help avoid new technology being developed exclusively for men.
Marking Ada Lovelace Day, Climer said that given the current skills shortage, attract more women into engineering was vital.
There are some fantastic female engineering role models, such as Ada Lovelace, the first female computer programmer – and we must continue to celebrate more role models like her
IET president Naomi Climer
“I became the first female president of the IET in October last year and, conscious that only 9% of the UK engineering workforce is women, it has been important to try to dispel the myth that engineering careers are not for women,” Climer said, as she prepares to step down from her post.
“There are some fantastic female engineering role models, such as Ada Lovelace, the first female computer programmer – and we must continue to celebrate more role models like her.
“It is a very real risk that if we continue to see important new technologies developed by a male-dominated workforce, we will be missing important tricks to ensure these developments can benefit the population as a whole – and not just men.”
Climer said recent technological developments aimed predominantly at men included a healthcare app that featured different tracking systems, but not a menstruation tracker for women, and smartphone designs that cater more to the male population because their size makes it difficult for smaller hands to type one-handed.