International Women in Engineering Day: A Catalyst for Startups

International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), celebrated each year on 23rd June, is more than just a day of recognition; it is a pivotal moment for startups to reflect on and embrace the invaluable contributions of women in engineering.

This year’s theme, “Enhanced by Engineering,” underscores the important work women engineers around the world are doing to support lives and livelihoods every day.

The Business Case for Gender Diversity in Startups

Gender diversity is not merely a social imperative but a business one. Studies have consistently shown that diverse teams drive better business outcomes. McKinsey & Company’s research found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability. For startups, which often operate in high-stakes, fast-paced environments, the diverse perspectives and problem-solving approaches that women engineers bring are invaluable.

Startups Leading by Example

Several startups have recognised the importance of gender diversity and have made concerted efforts to include women in their engineering teams:

Ada: A healthtech startup, Ada has made gender diversity a core part of its culture. By actively recruiting female engineers and promoting an inclusive workplace, Ada has enhanced its innovation capabilities and achieved significant milestones in AI-driven health diagnostics.

Elvie: Known for its smarttech products for women, Elvie’s success is a testament to the power of having women engineers at the helm. The company’s focus on female-centric technology solutions has allowed it to tap into a market often overlooked by male-dominated teams.

The Role of INWED in Shaping Startup Cultures

INWED provides a unique opportunity for startups to celebrate and reflect on the contributions of their female engineers. It serves as a reminder of the importance of creating an inclusive environment that not only attracts but also retains top female talent. Here’s how startups can leverage INWED to foster a more inclusive culture:

  • Highlighting Role Models: Sharing stories and achievements of female engineers within the startup can inspire and motivate other women to pursue careers in engineering. Role models play a crucial role in shaping the aspirations of young female professionals.
  • Mentorship and Support: Establishing mentorship programmes that connect experienced female engineers with newcomers can provide the support and guidance necessary for career development. Mentorship can be a powerful tool in breaking down barriers and fostering a supportive community.
  • Inclusive Hiring Practices: Startups can use INWED as a platform to review and enhance their hiring practices, ensuring that job postings and recruitment processes are free from gender bias and actively encourage applications from women.

The Future of Women in Engineering and Startups

As the startup landscape continues to evolve, the inclusion of women in engineering will be a key driver of innovation and success. Women bring unique perspectives and problem-solving skills that are essential for tackling complex engineering challenges. Startups that recognise and embrace this diversity will be better positioned to navigate the competitive and ever-changing market.

In celebrating INWED, startups have the chance to not only acknowledge the contributions of women engineers but also to recommit to creating a more inclusive and diverse industry. By doing so, they can build stronger, more innovative companies that are equipped to meet the demands of the future.


International Women in Engineering Day is a critical reminder of the need for gender diversity in engineering, particularly within the dynamic world of startups. By championing the achievements of women engineers and fostering an inclusive culture, startups can unlock new levels of innovation and drive business success. This INWED, let’s celebrate the women who are engineering the future and commit to building a startup ecosystem that values and promotes diversity.