Leeds student joins Women’s Engineering Society Young Members Board

School of Civil Engineering undergraduate student Annabel Downing has been chosen to be on the inaugural Young Members’ Board of the national Women’s Engineering Society (WES).

Annabel, the founder of the University of Leeds Student Women's Engineering Society, joins 11 other women under the age of thirty on the board and is only one of two board members that is still a student.

Annabel founded the Leeds society last year with the aims of strengthening the bond between female engineering students at Leeds, as well as creating links between our students and female role models in the industry. The society has been very successful, gaining over 100 members in its first year and helping the Faculty towards the Athena SWAN Silver Award.

The aim of the Young Members Board (YMB) is to make WES more accessible to younger engineers, to reflect their concerns and priorities and provide input to the WES Council, allowing the voices of younger women engineers to be heard. The women making up the YMB will also act as role models for young women considering engineering and applied science and will enable younger WES members to influence the direction of travel of WES.

Annabel said "I am very honoured to be part of the new WES Young Members Board. I hope that my position on the board will allow me to make a positive impact to other females in Engineering.

"Through setting up The University of Leeds first WES affiliated society, I have a good background and understanding in to what student members wish to achieve from the Society. I hope to incorporate some of these approaches to the national organisation."

The YMB will be launched on Thursday 23 June 2016, National Women in Engineering Day and the inaugural meeting will be held one week later. The Board will set their own agenda of projects and activities in line with WES vision, and will be given the task of supporting the “100 for 100” campaign, part of the WES Centenary activities.

Benita Mehra, WES President, said: "We are super excited to have finally created the WES YMB. Traditionally we have encouraged younger members to join the WES Council, but we have increasingly felt that we needed a board to enable younger members the freedom to challenge the more established Council members and to grow and develop the WES agenda. As we all know, today’s YMB will be tomorrow’s WES Council." 

Visit the WES website to find out more about the new Young Members Board.