• Traditions

June 23, 2023

Celebrating UL Trailblazer Frances Newell on International Women in Engineering Day

Frances Newell
Frances Newell

From the mid-1950s onward, the composition of the American workforce shifted, engaging more and more women into the fields of science and engineering. At UL, Frances Newell was one of the first female employees to join the UL engineering team as an associate engineer in 1954. Over her 23-year career with UL, Newell notably improved safety standards for television and laundry equipment utilizing a consumer-minded approach. She also applied her expertise to standards on lighting, wiring, medical, and dental equipment. During her tenure, Newell received no less than five promotions, retiring in 1984 as managing engineer of the UL standards department, which eventually grew into the organization we know today as UL Standards & Engagement (ULSE). 

Newell’s legacy is not limited to her contributions in making the world a safer place, she also serves as an excellent role model for women entering the world of male-dominated workspaces, often sharing inspiring words of advice to younger colleagues: “Try hard because whatever (you) do — good or bad — it is unlikely to go unnoticed."

Read more about Newell’s accomplishments as a trailblazer in engineering.