Rachel Morford, FY18 Director of Advocacy for the Society of Women Engineers was featured by Refinery 29 for International Women's Day. The following is her profile from Women Around the World Tell Us How They Want Their Workplaces to Be Different by Bouree Lam.
"We’ve come a long way in the diversity of engineers in the workforce, but there’s still a ways to go before we have gender parity or a fully diverse workforce. One of the things that I’d love to see change in the engineering workplace is an increase in the number of women holding the highest level of technical positions in my industry — technical fellows or distinguished engineers. In general, I’d love to see an increasing number of women receiving the top technical individual awards and recognition in both industry and academia. Women are already achieving the highest levels of technical excellence, and it would be a huge step forward for them to be recognized for it by their employers.
"It’s very much like the public discussion about the entertainment industry awards; just as only one woman has ever received the Oscar for Best Director, there are comparatively few women represented in the top individual STEM awards than there are men. I strongly believe that increased recognition of women engineers in their workplaces, in the form of more women holding the title of 'technical fellow' or 'distinguished engineer' and receiving more individual technical achievement awards would go a long way towards inspiring the next generation pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields."
International Women's Day
In 2018, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world. But this day to highlight the fight for equal rights started over 100 years ago: First, National Women’s Day in 1909, which celebrated garment workers in New York protesting for better work conditions. Then in 1910, a Women’s Day was established to support the fight for universal suffrage. Finally in 1911, International Women’s Day marked the day of protest in Europe for women’s right to vote and work.
This fight continues today. The progress of women in the workplace has no doubt come a long way, but there are still so many hurdles for women all around the world: from pay parity; to creating good, high-paying jobs for women; to equity at home with regards to unpaid domestic work; to initiatives that would ensure talented women can reach the highest levels of business and public office.
We asked 11 women around the world the one thing they’d like to see change at work in 2018. Click ahead to see what millennial women hope for the future of female work in their countries.
In honor of International Women’s Day, Refinery29 is asking women to pay-it-forward by endorsing a female colleague or expert in their field. Head here to discover inspiring women across all of the categories R29 covers.