BESA launches Outstanding Woman award

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Published: 19 September 2019


The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) is launching an award to mark the centenary of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).

BESA believes engineering professions in general – and building engineering in particular – will not be able to meet future business goals without a far more gender diverse workforce.
According to the Office for National Statistics, just 12% of British engineers are women and BESA is backing a WES initiative to raise that figure to 30% by 2030. Figures from the Royal Academy of Engineering also show that 20,000 additional graduate and higher-level apprentices will be needed every year between now and 2024 to meet predicted demand.

“Creating more career opportunities for women in engineering is not just the right thing to do – it is better for our businesses,” said BESA chief executive David Frise. “There is plenty of evidence to show that the most successful companies are those with the most diverse workforces – and how successful can we possibly be if we are, effectively, ignoring 50% of the population.”

Nominations for the BESA Outstanding Woman in Building Engineer Services award are invited via the association’s website and the winner will be honoured at the BESA National Conference and Awards at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London, on November 21.

The award, which will be presented by WES chief executive officer Elizabeth Donnelly, will recognise a woman who has made an outstanding contribution to engineering in the built environment and is a fitting role model for women in the building engineering workforce.

It will build on the success of women like Joanna Robinson, managing director of air movement specialist Mansfield Pollard, who was named Woman of the Year at the National ACR & Heat Pump Awards in 2018. As well as running a large, international business, Joanna is chair of BESA’s Ventilation Group.

She said: “A large part of my work with BESA is to promote women in engineering, and am committed to empowering the next generation of female engineers – highlighting the potential career opportunities in manufacturing and engineering.”