The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) has announced the Top 50 Women Engineers in the UK with number of women from across the region. Gloucestershire-based Sophie Lydia Smith is among the top 50 professional network of women engineers, scientist and technologists who have been recognised. The announcement was made on International Women in Engineering Day which is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering. The Top 50 celebrates women who deserve recognition for their services to engineering and furthering the diversity agenda.
Sophie Lydia Smith, who works for Atkins Global but collaborated with Footsure Western Ltd in Gloucester to create the shoes. led the way for women by launching her own innovative protective footwear designs with safety footwear brand ‘Amblers Safety’. The collection includes the innovative FS706 steel toe capped ‘Sophie Shoe’ and the Amblers Safety AS601C Lydia safety boot. Women tend to have a higher arch and narrower heel than men and require a specific fit on top of the various high levels of protection against hazards – an essential topic in health and safety. With more and more women entering skilled labour roles, the demand is evident for women’s safety boots to evolve quickly, both in design and materials.
More recently, the AS601C Lydia boots have been worn by the UK members of the first-ever all-female STEM Build Malawi expedition to build STEM classrooms at Rainbow Hope School in Malawi led by Katy Toms.
Sophie Lydia Smith said, “I am absolutely overjoyed about this achievement and honoured to have been selected by the Women’s Engineering Society, especially for the Centenary year. I have looked up to the winners of previous years as role models and for me to join them on the list is a dream come true. I want to use this as a platform to highlight the range of career routes into the industry. Apprenticeships are a great way of earning and learning; being surrounded by experts from an early stage of my career has been inspiring.”
Other women from across the region also named in the list include:
Danielle Flynn, a degree apprentice, Raise Matadar, a technical support apprentice and Amber Yasin, an apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover, which has its headquarters at Garden, Warwickshire
Angela George, a mechanical design engineer at Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire
Courteney Stone, an engineering technician apprentice with BMW Group Manufacturing in Oxford
The WE50 awards campaign aims to raise awareness of the skills shortage facing the industry and the huge discrepancy between the number of men vs. women currently in Engineering professions, to change perceptions and encourage young women to consider Engineering as a viable and rewarding career. The Women’s Engineering Society is celebrating 100 years in the UK.