Strengthening diversity and gender equity at IAHR

 IAHR task force on Strengthening Diversity and 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 23 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 Diversity and 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

Silke Wieprecht

Silke Wieprecht

University of Stuttgart



Jing Peng

Jing Peng



Amparo López

Amparo López

Polytechnic University of Valencia 


Damien Violeau

Damien Violeau



Ioana Popescu

Ioana Popescu

IHE Delft

The Netherlands

Dalila Loudyi

Dalila Loudyi

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! 

 Interviews with IAHR women

“We currently have about 25 per cent women in the association. So, within the next five years in IAHR, we can and want to reach the number of 30 per cent women that work in the engineering sciences on the whole. But this should also be reflected in the leadership teams…” Gender equity within IAHR is one of the main concerns of Silke Wieprecht, vice-president of IAHR and chair of the task force. 

David Ferras, vice-chair of IAHR technical committee on Education and Professional Development, interviews Silke Wieprecht.

>> Access the full interview

Other recent interviews:

 Projects and activities

 Related IAHR journals and articles


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. A special issue of HydroLink has been published on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of IAHR in September 2020. In this issue, six leading women members share their thoughts on progress towards greater diversity and gender equity within the association and in water issues:

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.

Publication of bios of great women hydraulicians in Hydrolink. More info coming soon


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