O’Dowd celebrates female colleagues on International Women in Engineering Day

Date published: 23 June 2022

International Women in Engineering Day #INWED (June 23) is being supported by Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd and celebrated by the Department as a whole.

John O'Dowd - DfI Minister

The annual event highlights female engineers, giving them a profile in a historically male-dominated profession.

#INWED is a Women’s Engineering Society (WES) initiative, which is now in its ninth year and aims to encourage more females to pursue engineering careers.

Minister O’Dowd said:

“Today, on International Women in Engineering Day I am proud to lend my support and highlight some of our Department’s hugely talented female engineers. Among them are award-winners whose excellent work has made a real difference to society as a whole and the wider environment. The Department strives to support women to achieve their full potential as engineers and is an active promoter of gender diversity and workplace equality. It also places a strong emphasis on education and training to nurture the up and coming engineers of our future. Today and every day, we celebrate all our wonderfully dedicated female engineers – thank you for all of your hard work.”

Throughout the day, the Department will be celebrating some of its many talented and dedicated female engineers on its social media platforms including Rachel Owen whose rewilding work won her the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) ‘Environmental Engineer of the Year 2021’ award.

Rachel Owen - IWED 2022 Rachel’s project, in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster Wildlife, offers insight into the environmental impact of infrastructure projects and highlights the benefits of rewilding roadside verges with wildflowers from an engineering perspective. Rewilding not only improves conditions for pollinators and wildlife, it can also reduce water runoff into the drainage system. 

Rachel, a keen beekeeper who is from Bangor and works in the Department’s Traffic Management team, said:

“I love being an engineer and would encourage  women of all ages to take up the profession. It’s a very rewarding career and I’m really happy I chose it.”

During Women in Engineering Day, the Department will also be profiling three other female engineers who work in various areas of the Department’s Roads and Rivers Group.  

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption: Minister John O’Dowd supports International Women in Engineering Day #INWED. Throughout the day the Department will be highlighting its female engineers on its social media platforms.
  2. Photo caption: Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) Environmental Engineer of the Year 2021, Rachel Owen who works in the Department’s Traffic Management team.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  5. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure

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