Auckland will have the chance to showcase its expertise in science and engineering after securing the International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES) in 2023.

Over 450 delegates from across the world are expected to attend the five-day conference to discuss the importance of diversity and growth of women within the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The conference will deliver a $881,000 economic contribution to Auckland and almost 2,600 visitor nights to support the region’s accommodation sector.

It will be the first time the flagship event has been held in New Zealand in its 56-year history.

Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB), a division of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), helped secure the successful bid for New Zealand, working in partnership with the Association for Women in the Sciences (AWIS) and Engineering New Zealand.

The attraction of ICWES reaffirms Auckland’s enviable position as a leader within STEM fields in New Zealand, accounting for over half of the technology sector’s gross domestic product (GDP) and home to 12,550 engineering professionals. Around 5,100 natural and physical science professionals are also based in Auckland and 46 per cent of these are female.

Emma Timewell, National Convenor of AWIS says: “We’re really excited about being able to showcase the expertise of women in STEM from across Aotearoa New Zealand with the rest of the world.

“We have a strong history of women in STEM, with some of the most prominent positions in the science system being held by women currently. This conference will provide us with the opportunity to share how our small and geographically-isolated nation excels on the STEM world stage,” says Timewell.

Head of ACB, Anna Hayward, says: “This is a great result for our New Zealand science and engineering community and will only further enhance our reputation as a destination of choice for STEM conferences.

“Auckland has an incredible pedigree when it comes to science and engineering and by hosting business events like these in our region it provides valuable opportunities for job creation, talent attraction and investment,” says Hayward.

The win comes after a successful month for ACB having secured the International Association of Women in Police (IAWP) conference for Auckland in 2023.

Tourism New Zealand’s Global Manager Business Events, Lisa Gardiner says securing these types of conferences is a hugely positive signal for the sector.

“It will give a much-needed boost to our business events sector just knowing that we’ve got great events like this down the pipeline. The sector contributes so much to New Zealand, not just in economic terms. With a number of key conferences choosing New Zealand that focus on women, it is a huge opportunity to share knowledge that will bring long lasting benefits to Kiwis.”

Notes: 

  • The estimated economic value is based on Auckland being at Alert Level 1 and international borders open at the time of the conference.
  • Auckland Convention Bureau is a division of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) – Auckland’s economic growth agency, and an Auckland Council Controlled Organisation. 
  • Tourism New Zealand manages the Conference Assistance Programme which provides support for anyone considering hosting an international conference in New Zealand
  • Engineering New Zealand is New Zealand’s professional body for engineers, dedicated to building a strong engineering profession that New Zealanders have confidence in and can trust.
  • AWIS is a national New Zealand organisation that works to better the position of all women working in the sciences, including those practicing, teaching or supporting science and those studying science at a tertiary level.