NORTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is the latest organisation to sign to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) charter, to ensure that more women are attracted to the science, engineering and technology sectors (SET).

In the UK, more than 500,000 women are qualified to work in engineering, science and technology – but less than a third work in these sectors.

Following a severe shortage of women in these sectors, The UK Resource Centre for women in Science, Engineering and Technology (UKRC) has launched a CEO charter for women in SET industries across the UK. Since its launch in March 2007, over 40 companies have signed up to the CEO charter.

IET Chief Executive, Robin McGill is enthusiastic and keen to get involved in the charter. He said: "The IET is committed to raising the profile of engineering and encouraging more young people, including women, to consider a wider participation within the profession. In particular, we hope that the CEO charter will help to address the shortage of female role models within engineering, especially in light of the current skills shortages within the industry."

The CEO charter is just one of the many projects that the IET is involved with. Each year the IET presents the Young Women Engineer of the Year awards, which celebrates the ongoing achievements of female engineers, who are under the age of 30.

Katy Deacon became the winner of Young Woman Engineer of the Year in 2006. She is now the youngest female member of the IET's Board of Trustees. There are 12 members in total of which four of the members are women.

Deacon says, "Through the Young Woman Engineer of the Year award I have been fortunate enough to work with young people, listening to their concerns and understanding more about their perceptions of engineering. I hope that through the IET's commitment to the CEO charter we can build on our previous good works and further raise the profile of engineering to the wider community, particularly encouraging women to enhance all engineering professions with their skills."