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4 March 2016

February was an outstanding month for recognising the work of two high profile figures in the not-for-profit Women’s Engineering Society (WES). Dawn Bonfield, (CEO and Immediate Past President) won a Semta Skills Award for Diversity in Engineering; while Dr Carol Marsh (pictured), a fellow WES Past President won an Inspiration Award at the FDM everywoman Women in Technology Awards.

Dawn’s award was presented at the Semta Skills Awards on 10th February at the Hilton, in Park Lane. The awards celebrate the ‘Best of British Engineering’ and recognise the talented people who work in the sector. Dawn’s accolade, the ‘Diversity in Engineering’ Award sponsored by MDBA and WISE was presented for her efforts in recruiting more females into engineering through the campaigns she has created. With the success of National Women in Engineering Day (NWED), thousands of girls have been exposed to engineering and the inspirational figures who work in the sector. Last year’s NWED was the most effective yet, with the official Twitter hashtag #NWED receiving 20,000 posts on the day and trending for nine hours on twitter. David Cameron even tweeted about NWED through his Twitter channel @Number10gov. Dawn also was the brain child of ‘Sparxx’, essentially a social media initiative to ensure that girls who have an interest in creative, engineering, science, technology or art careers keep their ‘spark’ alive and pursue the careers they dream of.

The Inspiration Award won by Dr Carol Marsh at the FDM everywoman Women in Technology Awards on 23rd February was sponsored by VMware. Dr Marsh is an Electronics Design Process Manager from Edinburgh for Finmeccanica Airbourne & Space Systems Division. Carol won the award for her two-pronged role at Finmeccanica: focusing on delivering training courses, assisting with recruitment and development of engineers; whilst equally ensuring that all complex electronic designs follow a Civil Aviation compliant process, covering over 120 designs in 30 sites across the UK and Italy. Dr Marsh served her WES Presidency 2013 – 2014, and since 2012 she has been co-chair of the annual WES Student Conference: Engineering Inspiration, working tirelessly on the event for female engineering university students looking to move into an engineering career after completion of their studies.

The Women’s Engineering Society is a long established organisation, nearing its 100th year. With high profile Past Presidents including Amy Johnson, it is an organisation with a rich and varied heritage. The Society is wholly reliant upon its member subscriptions, company partnerships and donations, so awards such as this help to demonstrate that the society is working to deliver against its mission to inspire and support girls and women to achieve their potential as engineers, applied scientists and technical leaders. Also that it works collaboratively to assist educators, employers and influencers in creating a diverse engineering community.

Dawn says of the Semta Skills Awards:

‘It was super to win an award on a night where many women in engineering were recognised for their outstanding contributions to the engineering sector, and many organisations demonstrated their commitment to increase diversity and inclusion. The challenges of increasing diversity in engineering are now very well acknowledged and with this level of determination we should see some real improvements in the next few years. Thank you to Semta, WISE and MBDA for including this important award.’

If you, or your organisation has an interest in increasing the number of females in engineering roles and increasing diversity in the sector, the Women’s Engineering Society can provide advice and guidance. Contact them on For more information on how you can participate in National Women in Engineering Day visit If you wish to be involved in Sparxx and encourage girls to consider engineering as a career, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Women's Engineering Society (WES)
Michael Faraday House
Six Hills Way
Tel:  01438 767447
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