Celebrating the Past, Transforming the Future

29 January 2019

Leonardo's Deputy Head of Electronics Engineering in Edinburgh, Dr Carol Marsh OBE, who has recently been appointed Chair of IET Scotland, explains how she plans to champion the themes of STEM education and gender equality in the engineering community.

2019 is set to be another important milestone for our engineering sector.

Following on from the UK Government’s Year of Engineering which celebrated the major contribution engineers make to our society and looked to inspire future generations, 2019 sees the Women in Engineering Society (WES) celebrate its centenary. The society is a charity and a professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists offering inspiration, support and professional development.

Coinciding with the centenary, former president of WES and Leonardo’s Deputy Head of Electronics Engineering in Edinburgh, Dr Carol Marsh OBE, has been appointed the new Chair of IET Scotland. During her presidency of WES (2013-2014), Carol was the embodiment of STEM education and inspiration, and in 2016 received the society’s Isabel Hardwich Medal in recognition of her outstanding contribution 'above the call of duty' to the Society.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) boasts over 168,000 members in 150 countries and works to inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community. The IET Scotland is focused on addressing the regional challenges including how to encourage young people to take up engineering within the structure of the Scottish education system. In her role as IET Chair, Carol will once again championing the themes of STEM education and gender equality in the local engineering community.

Carol will be working alongside other groups within the IET such as the Women’s Network which offers female engineers around the globe dedicated support and advice on career progression and professional development. Through campaigns such as '9% is not enough' and 'smash stereotypes to bits', the IET is working to address the disparity between boys and girls, as well as other demographic groups, considering a career in STEM.

"The main aim of IET Scotland is to promote professional engineering in Scotland. It plays a fundamental role in imagining the future of engineering, while nurturing a sense of community amongst current and future engineers.

"From my experience, working within the engineering community, I know that the only way we can truly enrich the ingenuity of our innovation, is through the fresh perspectives and insights into engineering offered by a truly diverse community. To achieve this we need to start early and give nursery and primary school children from diverse backgrounds access to exciting STEM opportunities.

"To coincide with WES’ centenary, I am encouraging everyone in IET Scotland to share the history of female engineering pioneers who made real breakthroughs in their fields and to nurture future role models to encourage even more girls to consider engineering as a future career. I am delighted that the IET has given me the opportunity to implement my agenda to improve STEM education and gender equality in engineering in Scotland."

Leonardo actively encourages and mentors our engineers to develop professionally through industry qualifications and accreditations such as those offered by the IET. As well as boasting previous winners of the award, we are proud sponsors of the prestigious IET Young Women Engineer Awards which celebrates the very best of young, female engineering talent. We also play an active role in supporting the International Women In Engineering Day (23 June) with events held for aspiring young women at its sites across the UK.

Under Carol’s tenure as IET Scotland Chair, she is bringing the ambitions of the new organisations together with a dinner on the 2 May that will celebrate just a few of the female engineering pioneers who have hailed from Scotland and have led the way for future generations.