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National Women in Engineering Day

Posted on by Website Administrator

Today we are celebrating National Women in Engineering Day!

As part of our project, Sheffield 1916: Steel, Steam and Power we are planning to tell the stories of Sheffield Women working in Engineering during the First World War and beyond. Here’s an overview of our plans for the next year…

After 1915, increasing numbers of women found war work, especially making shells in the munition factories. The largest numbers of women were employed in large shell factories such as Templeborough, where Thomas Firth and Sons employed 5,000 women. Despite opposition, women soon became involved in a whole range of industries including nursing, clerical and administrative positions, police work and transport. Women also became active within trade unions.

To support the new workforce there were training courses offered by the Ministry of Munitions, colleges and universities. At the University of Sheffield, women were trained for the steel works, in order to release men for the army.

A series of community engagement projects are planned. ‘Stories of the River Don Engine’ will collect and celebrate people’s memories of the River Don Engine at work and the city’s steel industry, feeding those stories into the museum’s archives and displays. The River Don Engine worked until 1978 and there are still people alive who worked on it or saw it roll. A ‘Women in STEM’ strand will work with women who are actively engaged in STEM careers and research, using the museum’s collections and the PowerLab to inspire the next generation of female engineers and scientists. ‘Sheffield – City of Refuge’ will work with current asylum seekers and refugees to encourage them to share their stories and compare their own experiences with the lives of refugees during the First World War and throughout the 20th century.

An activity strand focusing on women in STEM will use the collections to inspire the next generation of female engineers and scientists, and will make women in STEM subjects more visible, helping to change attitudes.

Date for your diary:

To celebrate National Women in Engineering Day on Friday 23rd June 2017 there will be a major event held at Kelham Island Museum, in partnership with WiSET.

This will be an event for the general public based around women working in industry through time, from the 1700s to the present day using live interpretation performances and workshops. Alongside this will be a conference which will be open to all including school students. The conference will include careers information, networking and advice opportunities as well as some exciting live demonstrations!

Keep an eye on the website for more information and calls for presentations…

First World War Munitionette

Posted in Sheffield 1916: Steel, Steam & Power

Tagged in Sheffield 1916: Steel, Steam & Power


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