Our story so far

We've been supporting women in engineering for over 100 years.

During the first world war, women were encouraged into engineering to release men for the armed forces. As the war ended, these women were pressured to vacate their roles.

That's when our story began. To resist this pressure and promote engineering as a rewarding job for women, a small committee drawn from the National Council of Women founded WES in 1919.

  • FOUNDING MEMBERS included wives of eminent engineers such as Lady Parsons, wife of Sir Charles
  • FAMOUS MEMBERS since then include Amy Johnson, Dame Caroline Haslett, and Professor Daphne Jackson

Within a year, they’d launched The Woman Engineer journal and in 1923 held the inaugural WES annual conference. Both continue to thrive today, as do our core beliefs of:

  • TRANSFORMING THE FUTURE: Campaigning to influence and challenge current practice, support women as technical leaders, encourage men to be active in inclusion and gender diversity
  • CELEBRATING THE PRESENT: Connecting and celebrating women engineers and supporters through awards, events, and the media
  • REMEMBERING THE PAST: Our National Lottery funded ‘WES Centenary Trail’ celebrates people and places that have played a key part in our history over the past century

As for the next chapter in our story, we’d love for you to get involved and join us in celebrating and championing women in engineering.

Discover WES In Action

We have a wide range of events, awards, campaigns, projects, programmes and activities that support and encourage women engineers at all stages of their careers.