Celebrated since June 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), International Women in Engineering Day seeks to raise the profile of women in engineering and celebrate contributions from women engineers. This year’s slogan #ShapeTheWorld is a call for stories from women engineers on how they shape the world.
IAHR is taking this opportunity to put women members in the spotlight and introduce its new task force on strengthening gender equity.
The recently created IAHR task force on Strengthening Diversity and Gender Equity intends to raise the profile and visibility of women who are active within the organisation. IAHR wants to encourage women engineering engagement and a balanced membership is one of its strategic priorities. Women’s membership needs to be reflected accordingly at the leadership level but also in IAHR technical committees, divisions, and boards.
About 25 per cent of IAHR members are women. However, their geographical distribution is quite uneven: Latin America is the region with the highest proportion of women members (27 per cent), whereas women from the Middle East and Africa are the least represented (15 per cent and 11 per cent respectively). In younger generations, gender distribution is more balanced (67 per cent are men and 33 per cent are women), but in recent years there has been very little increase in the number of women members. IAHR wants to change this to further strengthen the association’s potential and leadership position.
The share of women in the engineering disciplines is approximately 35 to 40 per cent, depending on the region. An equal split between the genders within IAHR would therefore not be realistic and would not accurately reflect the make-up of the engineering community as a whole. Therefore, the IAHR task force on strengthening gender equity aims to increase the number of women members from 25 to 33 per cent within the next five years while simultaneously increasing the ratio of women to men in divisions and committees.
Task force members
University of Stuttgart
Polytechnic University of Valencia
Hasan II University of Cassablanca
IAHR is aware that gender diversity often remains a struggle. This is why IAHR endeavours to identify women leaders, help develop the skills of young women members and recognise their contributions. We invite you, women, to become part of the IAHR community and help increase the visibility and representativity of women engineers! On this International Women in Engineering Day we also invite you to share this mosaic together with the hashtags #IAHRWomen #ShapeTheWorld #INWED20 and a link to this page.
HydroLink is the primary magazine of IAHR. It brings you the latest news in the world of hydro-environment engineering and research and provides a platform for reporting on IAHR activities and gathering news from our members. Hydrolink publishes articles on projects, research, and new methods and tools of interest to the hydro-environment engineering community. The special issue of HydroLink that will be published on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of IAHR, to be released in September 2020, will include an article presenting all women members who are part of the IAHR Council and an article introducing the task force on strengthening gender equity.
This article, published in issue 2/2017, analysed the gender situation at IAHR in 2017, compared it with similar organizations and analysed the challenges women engineers regularly face.
NewsFlash World is the electronic newsletter from IAHR. Distributed free of charge to those interested in hydro-environment engineering, sustainability and research, NewsFlash World provides information on IAHR activities and communities around the world. The next issue of NewsFlash (July 2020) will put a focus on gender and will include an interview with Silke Wieprecht, vice president of IAHR and chair of the task force on strengthening gender equity