On this year’s International Women’s Day, we would like to present various campaigns and events that discuss gender equality and help recognise the many brilliant Women in Architecture and Civil Engineering.
Today, look out for the Hashtags #IngéEgalité (for French speakers) and #EqualityinEngineering in order to get involved with a campaign by Syntec-Ingénierie. This French representative federation has over 400 members and guides engineering companies for various issues and business development. Their campaign helps highlight projects, organisations and events that focus on Women in the Engineering Community. The ECEC has been actively promoting projects and events that support Women in Civil Engineering, as gender equality in this field of profession is still relevant.
In this function, ECEC president Klaus Thürriedl took part at the Eurocrades (Council of European Professional & Managerial Staff) and CEPLIS (European Council of Liberal Professions) co-hosted panel discussion on March 2nd to evaluate successes in gender equality in the past year and discuss further steps needed. The event was split into two panels by experts in gender equality and the discussions managed to set a focus on reflecting and addressing questions on transition and tangible changes that can be fulfilled.
The two panels consisted of gender equality and social inclusion specialists including Gaetano Stella (CEPLIS), Nayla Glaise (President, Eurocadres), Konstantina Vardaramatou (Secretary General, European Women’s Lobby), Stecy Yghemonos (Executive Director, Eurocarers) Nadia Hadad (European Disability Forum) as well as MEP’s and representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee) demonstrating willingness to understand and lead on creating an inclusive environment that would be looking ahead to the changes needed to bridge the existing gap between the sexes.
Women are under-represented in many professional occupations. Civil Engineering along with other professions in the building sector have long been male-dominated fields. While times are slowly changing, some firms have made a deliberate effort to make their offices more representative of society as a whole by promoting gender equality.
Addressing this shortfall is about much more than doing the right thing - it’s an economic necessity. Female professionals in this sector have difficulties in striking a balance between professional and personal life, as they carry obligations in both. Lack of sufficient time, gender biases, social and cultural norms as well as family responsibilities are some of the most significant challenges for Women, causing this imbalance.
At the CEPLIS and Eurocrades panel discussion, Klaus Thürriedl addressed the importance of education when supporting societal change. By creating role models and directly addressing young girls, the appeal of technical professions ought to be increased early on. When we correct the perception that women cannot succeed in the field of Civil Engineering by providing role models, information on returns and access to a female network, application rates double and the self-selection patterns change. The appeal also states that once women get into the sector, we need to make sure they stay there.
More information on the event can be found on the Eurocrades website.