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James Dyson calls for more women to join the engineering and technology industry

 

Today, Thursday, June 23, 2022, James Dyson is calling for more women and young girls to consider a career in engineering. Dyson’s comments come on International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), a day that celebrates and draws attention to the pioneering female engineers around the world and the work they do to solve problems and improve daily lives.

 

This year’s theme is Inventors and Innovators. To acknowledge this day, we spoke to some of our own inventors and innovators at Dyson. Watch the video below to hear about their engineering experience at Dyson and their advice for the next generation of female engineers.

 

June 23, 2022

INWED 2022

   

 

Sir James Dyson, Founder of Dyson, says, “We need the brightest engineers in the world to solve the problems of our age and create the technologies of the future. We urgently need more engineers, and encouraging more women into engineering is a must. That starts in schools and continues through education, ultimately showing how fulfilling a life spent in engineering can be. At the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology in Malmesbury, 41% of our first-year undergraduates are women. This is more than double the national average for engineering courses. This isn’t the result of some Government quota but it might be because we look for engineers who are curious about the world and want to solve real problems in a hands-on way. I hope International Women in Engineering Day inspires even more to follow in their footsteps and join us.”

 

 

The future will be shaped by engineers, and the world needs more women entering the field to create better technologies and drive change. Dyson sees positive progress through its work with the Dyson Institute for Engineering and Technology, the James Dyson Foundation and the James Dyson Award to encourage more females into the field.

 

  • Dyson has increased the representation of women in its Executive Committee by 37.5% over the past year
  • 41% of the most recent cohort of the Dyson Institute identify as female, compared to a national average of 15.1% on engineering and technology university courses[1]
  • For the past three years, the winners of the global James Dyson Award have been designed by pioneering young women in engineering
  • Three times as many female students were interested in pursuing engineering following a six-year Design and Technology project the James Dyson Foundation ran with schools in Bath, UK
  • The Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London (funded by a £12m donation from the James Dyson Foundation), now in its sixth year, has a 42% female cohort

 

This week, with Dyson people, we are hosting a series of internal panel discussions and networking sessions, celebrating our exceptional engineers who are focused on pioneering solutions to solve global problems. Read on to learn more from some of our female inventors and innovators at Dyson taking part in these celebrations, to mark this year’s International Women in Engineering Day.

 

  • Lucy Richardson
  • Lucy

    Senior Acoustics Engineering Manager

     

    "With 41% of first year Undergraduate Engineers at the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology identifying as female, compared with an average of just 16% on UK engineering undergraduate courses, we’re in a great position to improve the diversity of our future engineering teams. "

     

What do you enjoy most about engineering at Dyson?

Being set seemingly impossible problems to solve is surprisingly fun and the sense of pride when we do is amazing. The Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones are a great example of this. We were set the task of making a quiet purifier which you could wear on your head. Having to squeeze our technology into this small package size whilst also making it quieter was challenging enough, but to do this with two compressors sat on an owner’s ears seemed impossible! My fantastic team were determined to make it happen though, so worked tirelessly to understand and isolate the key noise sources. This touches on another great aspect of engineering at Dyson – the people. It’s incredible to collaborate with so many knowledgeable and inspiring engineers, day-in, day-out.

 

What advice would you give to the next generation of female engineers?

Engineering is all about solving a problem, so it’s the perfect career choice of anyone looking to make a difference to the world.  If it’s something any youngsters are exploring, my best advice would be to pick an object at home like an old toy with moving parts, or even a vacuum cleaner, and try to find out how it works. Take it apart, put it back together, and think about what you would change to make it even better. If your school has some resources, maybe they could even help you to design and make some parts to prove your ideas too. Head to the James Dyson Foundation website to learn more about their educational engineering resources.

Most importantly though, don’t fail to follow your passion for engineering just because you don’t look like a stereotypical engineer. After all, it is vital that a diverse group of people are involved when designing new products, as only then can you make a product which suits your diverse target market. Hopefully the INWED campaign is working to break down these stereotypes though and show there are already people like you in the industry.

  • Vicky

    Engineering Manager

     

    "Engineering at Dyson is not people in suits doing loads of sums and taking years to develop a small component. It’s not a dry subject that relies on theory. It’s an incredibly exciting place to work where you are solving problems practically using both theory and creativity in a collaborative way."

     

  • Vicky Gibson-Robinson

What inspired you to get into engineering?

At school, I was torn between studying Maths and Art. I loved the creativity of Art, but I also enjoyed the logic of Maths. I came across Engineering through a JDF workshop while I was at school. From there, I found that Engineering was the perfect mix of creativity and logic. 

 

What do you enjoy most about engineering at Dyson?

Nothing stays the same and there is no time for stagnation. I love that no day or week is the same as the last! To me, Engineering at Dyson is a platform where you can learn and develop everything and anything and it’s therefore a never-ending journey of knowledge and discovery. 

  • Jade Ballinger
  • Jade

    Undergraduate Engineer at the Dyson Institute

     

    "If you are passionate and love what you do, then you can overcome any obstacles. You are no less of an engineer because of your gender and if you come with the attitude that you are as worthy as any man, you will generally be treated as such."

     

What do you enjoy most about engineering at Dyson?

Dyson is a hub of creativity and innovation. Everyone is passionate about finding the most creative and elegant solutions and there is a culture of "no idea is a bad idea" because we learn from every outcome.

 

What do you envisage for the future of engineering at Dyson?

Being in Dyson for only 4 years I have already seen so many changes, with the company moving into product categories I could have never predicted. A great example is the recent announcement of the company's investment into robotics, opening up a whole new world of possibilities that I can't wait to see!

 

What did you find most interesting about being part of the Dyson Zone project?

This is Dyson's first venture outside of the home so, as a structural engineer, this provided a whole new host of engineering challenges. Because it is a product that is so personal to the user, we also had to really focus in on the human factors and user interaction in a way that hasn't been explored much in the past. Not only is this the most fascinating product I have encountered across my time at Dyson, but it is also my first product launch since joining! Seeing the reception from the public (especially given the radical nature of this design) has been incredibly exciting and I can't wait to see people get their hands on it.

  • Lucy

    Senior Design manager

     

    "I wanted to go to drama school when I was younger and didn’t even consider Engineering as a career path. I ended up doing something called the ‘Engineering Taster Week’ at a company local to my school... and I ended up falling in love with Engineering after seeing how diverse the career can be."

     

  • Lucy Harden
  • What do you enjoy most about engineering at Dyson?

    For me, being able to make a difference to people’s lives through design is incredibly inspiring. Every day is different at Dyson, and you get to see ideas go from concept all the way through to production. I am also lucky enough to lead a brilliant team of very talented people who are a huge inspiration. 

     

    What advice would you give to the next generation of female engineers?

    You’re about to begin on an incredible journey! Taking a career in Engineering for me was the best decision I’ve ever made. If you’re suffering from self-doubt, just take the leap of faith into the career – it’s incredible what you can be capable of if you just let yourself do it! 

     

    What did you find most interesting about being part of the Dyson Electric Vehicle (EV) project?

    I was in the aerospace industry before joining Dyson, so although it was a steep learning curve to cross over to Automotive, it was really interesting to be able to transfer my skills to a new area. Learning about the vision for the Dyson Electric Vehicle project and making it a reality was inspiring and incredibly interesting, as with many Dyson projects it was highly innovative and I was constantly challenged to ‘think outside the box’ and find new ways of solving problems. What we achieved as a team in such a short space of time was remarkable and I’ll always be proud to say I was a part of it. 

    • Chunrui Zhang
    • Chunrui Zhang

      Head of Embedded Software

       

      What inspired you to get into engineering?

      I always had a vague interest in becoming an engineer. I liked the idea of creating something and being involved in problem solving. Influenced by my late father, I decided to select Analytical Instrumentation as my major.

      During my years at university, l gained knowledge in circuit design, mechanical design, and experience in programming languages. I found it amazing. During my working life, my interest gradually started to shift towards software. I like to develop software for a real product, to create various control functions and product features.

       

      What advice would you give to the next generation of female engineers?

      Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, and do not be afraid of making mistakes.  Find out what you are passionate about and be determined to learn and grow.

    • Andrea Lim

      Design Manager

       

      What inspired you to get into engineering?

      There isn’t a particular moment or person that comes to mind, but I’ve always looked at the world in a certain way – observing how things are and questioning why they are the way they are and how they might be different. For me, that’s the essence of design and engineering and I think it’s that curiosity which brought me here.

       

      What do you enjoy most about engineering at Dyson?

      It’s not difficult to have great ideas.  For me, what sets Dyson apart is how those ideas are given space to grow and develop into concepts, projects, and finished products. It takes determination, vision, and the drive to follow something all the way through to see what happens. It’s rare to find those bold qualities in a company of this size, and it makes for exciting, interesting, and varied projects.

       

    • Andrea Lim

     

    What do you envisage for the future of engineering at Dyson?

    One of the biggest challenges for this generation of engineers is how to use and reuse resources in such a way that they aren’t depleted or destroyed. The role of engineering in stewardship. I think Dyson could find some interesting solutions.

     

    What did you find most interesting about being part of the development of the Dyson Corrale straightener and the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer?

    There are always multiple solutions to the problems we are trying to solve, every step along the way. It’s fascinating seeing how each decision and countless discrete, yet interconnected decisions have shaped Supersonic and Corrale into the familiar products they are now. 

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