February 2022

International Day of Women & Girls in Science - 11 February 2022

Today marks the 7th International Day of Women & Girls in Science.  It’s a day to promote full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls.  Gender equality is a global priority for UNESCO, and the support of young girls, their education and their full ability to make their ideas heard are levers for development and peace.  It was originally established to recognise the critical role women and girls play in science and technology, and that their participation should be strengthened. 

At Rendel, we are using our industry experience, to help drive change by collaborating more with schools, colleges and universities to encourage girls to pursue STEM subjects at school and higher education, and enter and remain in the engineering industry.

Through our STEM outreach programme and school engagement activities, engineers from Rendel have shared their engineering journey with students, led lessons in engineering, helped prepare students for university interviews and overall – all of which promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.

This year’s theme is “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us”.  The theme aims to recognise the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries, but also as agents of change, including in view of accelerating progress towards the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). 

The official event will be held in New York where discussions will focus on the water nexus in achieving the three pillars of sustainable development, which are economic prosperity, social justice, and environmental integrity.  Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals will rely on harnessing all talent – that means getting more women working in these fields.  Diversity in research expands the pool of talented researchers, bringing in fresh perspectives, talent and creativity. 

The aim is to achieve greater involvement of women and girls in science and to increase the number off girls undertaking STEM (Science, Technology, Education, Maths) subjects at school, as well as raising awareness of STEM career opportunities.  This will contribute to eliminating stereotypes and improving gender equality in STEM fields.

For the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021, Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, and Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, gave this joint message:

“To  be  truly  transformative,  gender  equality  policies  and  programmes  need  to  eliminate  gender  stereotypes  through  education,  change  social  norms,  promote  positive role models of women scientists and build awareness at the highest levels of  decision-making. 

We need to ensure that women and girls are not only participating in STEM fields, but are empowered to lead and innovate, and that they are  supported  by  workplace  policies  and  organisational  cultures  that ensure  their  safety, consider their needs as parents, and incentivise them to advance and thrive in  these  careers.”