Home appliances manufacturer Bosch has launched a competition for young female technologists aimed at bridging the gender gap in the engineering industry – and in IoT.
The #BetweenUsWeCan campaign is challenging female engineers to think of ways IoT can improve lives with the chance of winning a visit to firm’s research and development facilities in Germany.
Lasting two days, the visit will give the winners an inside look into where Bosch’s IoT technologies are being developed and brought to life. They’ll also receive a year’s mentoring from its female engineers.
Entrants should be between 18 and 25 years of age, and are being tasked with describing an IoT-based innovation that can make the world a better place. Entries can be submitted by email to [email protected].
They’ll be assessed and shortlisted by an expert judging panel consisting of: Professor Danielle George, University of Manchester; Dr Steffen Hoffmann, president of Bosch UK; Jon Excell, editor of The Engineer; Cat Dow, Just Auto magazine; Sarah Claridge, Technical Associates Group; and Lauren Childs, Bosch UK.
Bosch, which is best known for producing appliances such as washing machines, has been exploring IoT’s potential for the past few years. For example, it’s already developed a smart parking system that alerts drivers of available parking spaces.
Dr Steffen Hoffmann, president of Bosch in the UK, is concerned about the lack of engineers – especially female – in the UK but believes Bosch can help.
He said: “The UK is facing a critical shortage of new engineers entering the workforce and the problem is made worse by the lack of women entering the profession.
“Women have the ambition to solve problems and change the world, and the talent to deliver it. Our competition aims to shine a light on their imagination and their skills.
“Bosch wants to fuel the imaginations of the brightest young women engineers by asking them to think how the IoT might transform our lives.”
Gender balance needed with IoT
Lyanna Tsakiris is the co-founder of Re:Program, an organisation that aims to empower women in Wales’s tech sector. She says it’s important there’s a greater gender balance in tech as IoT continues to grow.
She told Internet of Business: “There’s a growing need for more people to work in tech. However, there is still a gaping void when it comes women working in tech, and in particular IoT.
“Considering that digital and tech is becoming more and more prevalent in our lifestyles, I think it is really important that there is greater gender balance in tech and in development for IoT.
“At a very basic level we need to be designing from an equal standpoint to reflect the overall population at the very least. We need to make sure that diverse teams are developing for IoT as consideration needs to be given to the end user and different needs and behaviours have to be understood to create great things.
“Women can bring a range of skills to the table such as attention to the ‘little things’ that can make code and design special, a different approach to work to those who are used to operating in a male-dominated industry and women can also often add more value to the user by seeing beyond the technical side of things.”
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