Women in Engineering a History of Firsts women .pdf

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Women in
a History of Firsts
The role of women in engineering shouldn’t
be a secret, as without their vital contributions
the industry wouldn’t have achieved what it
has today. With countless contributions to
celebrate, we’ve marked just a few as we
take a step back in time to look at a
history of firsts…

Kate Gleason is the 1st
woman elected to full
membership of ASME




Edith Clarke earns a Masters in
Electrical Engineering at MIT – the first
woman to do so


Alice Perry becomes the
first female Engineering
graduate in Ireland or
Great Britain
Nora Stanton Blatch Barney
becomes the first female
member of ASCE


Lillian Gilbreth becomes
the first female Professor at
the School of Engineering,
Purdue University
The first woman marine
engineer in Britain, Victoria
Drummond, is awarded an
MBE for bravery at sea in WWII

Ada Lovelace publishes work which
will later see her recognized as the
first computer programmer


Emily Roebling crosses the Brooklyn
Bridge after supervising its construction



Nancy D. Fitzroy becomes the
first female President of ASME




Martha Sloane
becomes the first
female IEEE President

Mary Fergusson is elected
first female fellow of the
Institution of Civil Engineers




Mandakini Majumdar
(Deshpande) is the first
woman hired in Engineering
at IIT, Kharagpur, India
Sally Ride is the first person to
use a robotic arm in space to
retrieve a satellite


Lois Graham becomes
the first American
woman to earn PhD in
Mechanical Engineering

The proportion of engineers in industry
who are women however is still very
low in the UK at only 9% – the lowest
percentage in Europe.1

Likewise, in the USA, as little as
14% of the country’s engineering
workforce are women.2

Pam Liversidge is chosen
as the first woman
president of the Institution
of Mechanical Engineers





Theresa Helmlinger
Ratcliff becomes the first
female president of NSPE

Patricia Galloway
becomes the first
female President

Facebook’s first female
engineer, Ruchi Sanghvi,
starts her new job

Dame Ann Dowling
becomes the first female
President of the Royal
Academy of Engineering

Women’s Engineering Society, 2016. Useful Statistics. [Online] Available at: www.wes.org.uk/statistics
U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, 2012. STEM Education: Preparing for the Jobs of the Future. [Online] Available at: bit.ly/2eUQvlt

Be inspired by our #inspirationalengineers stories at

Naomi Climer is
elected as the first
female president of
the IET

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