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Date: June 25, 2024

Recognizing Women in STEM field on International Women in Engineering Day

Recognizing Women in STEM field on International Women in Engineering Day

International Women in Engineering Day: Celebrating Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu and today's women engineers for their innovation and contribution to the society

In a world where technology and innovation are accelerating at an unprecedented pace, the story of Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu, born on November 10, 1887, in Romania, resonates more powerfully than ever. Recognized as the world’s first woman engineer, Elisa’s journey was one of extraordinary resilience and determination. At a time when gender-based opposition was the norm, she defied societal constraints and earned her engineering degree from the Royal Technical Academy in Berlin in 1912, marking a historic achievement in the field of STEM.

Elisa’s career in Romania was a testament to her versatility and brilliance. She made significant contributions to geology and chemistry, fields that continue to be foundational in today’s technological advancements. During World War I, Elisa’s technical acumen found a vital application as she managed a hospital for the Red Cross, showcasing her ability to adapt and apply engineering principles to improve medical care—a practice that echoes in today’s interdisciplinary approaches in STEM fields.

Elisa’s legacy is not merely a chapter in the history of engineering but a living inspiration that propels modern movements for gender equality in STEM. In today’s world, where diversity and inclusion are recognized as key drivers of innovation, Elisa’s story underscores the importance of breaking barriers and championing equality.

Today we salute the women who has broken the stereotype and made a mark in the STEM fields on International Women in Engineering Day, 23 June.

Inception of International Women in Engineering Day

International Women in Engineering Day was first launched in the United Kingdom on June 23, 2014, by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to mark its 95th anniversary. The day was initially celebrated as a national event called “National Women in Engineering Day” to promote the role of women in engineering and to encourage more girls and young women to consider engineering as a career. The success of the national day and the enthusiastic support it received led to the event going international in 2017, becoming “International Women in Engineering Day.” This expansion allowed the message of gender diversity and inclusion in engineering to reach a broader audience, resonating with individuals and organizations worldwide.

The celebration of the outstanding contributions of women engineers, significant impact on the industry and emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in engineering fields. This year, we are honored to share the inspiring insights from four remarkable women who have made substantial strides in their careers, overcoming challenges and driving innovation.

Priya S. Kumar, General Manager and Head of Media & Communication Business, Tata Elxsi

Priya S. Kumar has witnessed firsthand the invaluable contributions women bring to the engineering field. She underscores the importance of recognizing diverse skills and perspectives, stating, “Women excel at managing multiple tasks efficiently, ensuring successful project outcomes and streamlined operations.” As the industry evolves with technological advancements, the role of women engineers becomes increasingly vital.

“By fostering inclusivity and balance, women are paving the way for a more equitable and promising future in our industry,” Priya asserts. At Tata Elxsi, the commitment to empowering women in engineering is evident, with initiatives that recognize their contributions and support their growth. On this International Women in Engineering Day, Priya celebrates the remarkable impact of women engineers who enhance the industry every day.

Rosemary Hegde, Global Head – Life Sciences Domain Business Services Unit, TCS

Rosemary Hegde’s journey at TCS is a testament to the growth opportunities and diverse roles available in the engineering field. “My journey in TCS has been filled with a plethora of growth opportunities, across geographies, with roles spanning technology, consulting, delivery excellence, and business management,” she recounts. In her current role, she guides the Life Sciences domain team, leveraging her extensive experience to groom future leaders and build transformative business solutions.

“With core engineering, deep delivery experience, and business skills built over three decades, I am helping the team build and transform business solutions with the power of automation and TCS platforms,” Rosemary says. Her leadership and vision are driving progress in the life sciences service industry, showcasing the critical role women play in advancing technology and innovation.

Ambika Khatri, Principal Architect, Honeywell Connected Enterprises India

“Engineering has profoundly influenced my life, offering pathways for personal growth, professional success, and a strong sense of empowerment,” shares Ambika Khatri. Entering the dynamic field of technology as a woman came with unique challenges due to historical gender norms. Over the years, Ambika has had the privilege to work on transformative projects that integrate smart devices and leverage data in innovative ways, enhancing her technical skills and broadening her industry perspective.

Ambika emphasizes the importance of diversity in engineering, stating, “Having more women engineers ensures a wider range of needs and experiences are considered during the design process, leading to more inclusive and effective solutions.” At Honeywell, efforts are made to close the gender gap through initiatives like the RESTARTHER program and the Honeywell Student Empowerment Program, which trains over 24,000 youth, primarily women, in cutting-edge technology streams, ensuring many secure promising careers.

Rathika M, Lead – Backend Engineering, Ascendion

Women entrepreneurs in engineering are not only creating innovative products and services but also driving economic growth and sustainability. Rathika M highlights the resilience and determination of women engineers who, despite facing gender bias and unequal opportunities, continue to thrive and excel. “Their courage, determination, and innovation are not just shaping the field but also making a profound difference in our world,” she notes.

Rathika draws inspiration from Malala Yousafzai, a champion for girls’ education: “We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” She celebrates the impact of women in engineering, emphasizing their contributions to job creation, economic resilience, and sustainable technology development.

International Women in Engineering Day is a celebration of the resilience, innovation, and invaluable contributions of women engineers. From integrating smart devices and leveraging data to driving economic growth and fostering inclusivity, women in engineering are making a profound impact on the world. Their stories inspire future generations to break barriers, embrace diversity, and continue the journey toward a more inclusive and innovative engineering landscape.