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In Europe, only about a quarter of girls study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), compared to one in three in Slovenia. Why don't girls choose engineering careers? For us to narrow the gender gap in STEM and Computer Science, more girls need to be attracted to study these disciplines. Female Engineer of the Year  is an annual event that has been running for the past four years, with more than 140 female participants.

Female Engineer of the Year is not a competition; it's an award for inspiring young girls to choose engineering careers. The award addresses the problem of the "invisibility" of female engineers in society. Its goal is to provide role models for young girls and highlight work achievements and contributions to the society of Slovenian female engineers. 

Background and main activities

Slovenia has the highest proportion of female STEM graduates among all European countries, according to a survey by the European Commission. With 22.5 per 1000 people aged 20-29. 
According to Eurostat, there will be almost 6.6 million women scientists and engineers (41 % of all science and engineering employees) in the EU in 2020. Women's representation in manufacturing is only 22 %, while 46 % is in the service industry. The share of female scientists and engineers in 2020 varied considerably between EU member states, from 52 % in Lithuania to 31 % in Hungary and 37 % in Slovenia. 

The award recipient is selected, by a brought group of stakeholders, from the group of 10 finalists representing Slovenian companies, organizations and other associations or societies. The main criteria for choosing the nominees are diversity: in terms of education, age, organization or employer, field of work, previous appearance and professional orientation.

Why is this a good practice? 

This criterion reveals the potential of the diverse career choices offered by the engineering profession and what women engineers can achieve in their careers.

"The idea that engineering is predominantly a male profession is increasingly becoming a distant reality, and the world is also built on women engineers. What's more, today, every engineering profession is suitable for girls," explains Darko Švetak, Editor-in-Chief and Editor-in-Chief of IRT3000 magazine, co-organizer of the selection.  

The announcement ceremony of Female Engineer of the Year 2021 was held in the Presidential Palace under the patronage of Mr. Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic of Slovenia. The award was initiated by Siemens Slovenia and is co-organized by IRT3000 magazine and Mediade and is part of the "Let’s be Engineers!" initiative.

Good practice details

Target audience
Digital skills for the labour force.
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Digital skill level
Advanced
Digital Expert
Geographic scope - Country
Slovenia
Industry - field of education and training
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) not further defined
Engineering and engineering trades not further defined
Type of initiative
National initiative
Type of funding
Public