Celebrating women in engineering
Set up the year after partial female suffrage in Britain, the Women's Engineering Society (WES) has been championing diversity in engineering, science and technology since its inception on 23 June 1919.
In 2020, women still only make up about 12% of the professional engineering workforce in the UK, a fact that the Women’s Engineering Society wants to change. As part of the WES Centenary Trail (a National Lottery Heritage funded project) during its centenary year, the Women’s Engineering Society has chosen to celebrate the lives of many of its past, distinguished members and other notable women engineers in the UK and beyond.
By rediscovering and promoting the achievements of some of its previous members throughout its one hundred year history, the Women’s Engineering Society is aiming to increase public awareness of women’s roles in the history of engineering, as well as providing role models for future generations of women engineers and wider STEM careers.
 Dame Caroline Haslett: an electrical pioneer
An electrical engineer, electricity industry administrator and champion of women's rights, she was co-founder and first Director of the Electrical Association for Women. Her chief interest was in harnessing the benefits of electrical power to emancipate women from household chores, so that they could pursue their own ambitions outside the home.
Haslett was the sole woman delegate to the World Power Conference in Berlin in 1930 and represented Britain at later power conferences. During the next 20 years she sat on (and significantly influenced the outcomes of) a large number of committees including those dealing with war time issues and post World War II reconstruction,
Haslett became President of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women in 1950 and was the first woman to chair a government working party. She represented the UK government on business missions in the USA, Canada and Scandinavia, and after the Second World War she took a leading role in conferences organised for women in Germany by the British and American authorities and spoke on the White House lawn with President Truman.
In 1947 she was appointed a member of the British Electricity Authority (BEA), later the Central Electricity Authority, which was formed to run the industry under national ownership. In 1949 the BEA named one of the ships in its collier fleet Dame Caroline Haslett in honour of its first woman member.
This article originally appeared on the ECA website on 23 June 2020. It was written by INWED.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Articles by the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA).
- Boardroom to building site skills gap survey.
- Dive into diversity.
- Diversity in regeneration.
- Diversity in the construction industry.
- Gender pay gap in construction.
- Inclusivity in engineering.
- International Women in Engineering Day 2020
- International Women in Engineering Day 2018.
- International Women's Day 2017.
- Recruiting and retaining talent in the construction industry.
- The Retention of Women in the UK Construction Industry.
- To attract the right talent, offering flexibility and work-life balance will be essential.
- Why so many women leave engineering.
- Women in the construction industry.
- Women's Engineering Society.
Diversity, social value and skills
- Diversity and inclusion
- Skills and careers
- Social value
- Academic research
- A-Z of EDI: Definitions
- Building People 'Network of Networks'
- Building People platform
 Join in
Building People is bringing together the huge amount of resource that exists across the Built Environment industry, with a focus on diversity and inclusion, skills and careers, and social value.
We need your help to do this.
Have you got useful material to share? Do you know of information that would be helpful to others? If it is relevant to the Built Environment and to diversity, skills and social value, then it's relevant to others. Help them find it by using the guidelines below.
 Add your own content
- For guidance about writing and adding your own content see Get started - top tips and help.
- Some articles are more popular and useful than others. This article explains more.
- Make sure you use the right title as this helps search engines find it. See here for guidance.
- Add your signature to link readers to your profile.
- Tick the 'People' box when you submit the article - that way your content will appear in this Building People microsite.
- Finding it tricky? Contact us for assistance.