Three years ago, a small group of female Royal Signals soldiers and officers created the Royals Signals Women in Technology (RSWIT), an organisation that would encourage knowledge sharing, promote technical expertise and inspire female colleagues to embrace their love of technology. Now, as the Corps celebrates its 100th birthday and on International Women’s Day, this ever-growing group want to share their experience and let girls and women know that it’s cool to love engineering.
RSWIT committee member Maj Emma Thomas MBE became involved due to her passion for technology and a desire to encourage people to fulfil their potential in this field. Although focused on women, the RSWIT was intended to address an imbalance, as STEM subjects may still be seen to be more male-orientated. She wants everyone, whatever their gender, to understand the technical opportunities available in the military and to work together to encourage more people to get involved.
Speaking personally Maj Thomas said ‘RSWIT is important to me because our people are important, and this initiative seeks to put our people front and centre and help them to be the very best they can be.’
Now numbering over 70 people, the RSWIT plan have big plans for 2020, including collaboration events with many civilian organisations and defence-focused businesses. They will be encouraging technical curiosity by running workshops and lectures from civilian experts, continuing to promote professional development, and growing the thriving network of like minds across the Royal Signals, both Regular and Reserve.
LCpl Hannah Anderson from 30 Signal Regiment believes strongly in RSWIT and said: ‘I believe there is still a big disparity between men and women in engineering, and this is something I want to help change. As an organisation we want to learn from each other and journey together on improving our skills in organisation, engineering and technology, learning primarily from civilian organisations like Jaguar Landrover, looking at their women in engineering scheme and seeing how we can do better.’
Watch this space for what our incredible women are getting up to in 2020.