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Encouraging Women into Engineering Careers: Challenges & Possibilities

According to the office of National Statistics only 8% of engineers in the UK are women.

The engineering profession is still experiencing a high demand for new graduates and experienced engineers. Around 8 per cent of engineers in the UK are women, according to the Office for National Statistics.

To inspire more women to become engineers will be a difficult feat. First, the challenges that they face while in school, college or university have to be addressed. The absence of female role models goes a long way towards discouraging young women to pursue careers in the engineering, maths, and science sectors.

According to recent studies, careers in the life sciences, medicine and the arts are what many women aspire towards. This is due to a desire to make a difference and have a positive impact on society. A meaningful job in these areas however, do take years to train for and the process of excelling with a computer, advanced maths or design can be long and frustrating; causing many young women to become disheartened and drop out.

University is a place where important future career decisions are made, and this is where women engineering students need support.

There are many student groups available to offer support and in a multitude of places around the UK. This support includes conferences, chats with other students and professionals in the field and job searching tips; a vital resource. It’s essential for girls to have support so that they feel comfortable, accepted, and involved.

Even when female engineers are encouraged to take on a career in the field and trained, women face the challenge of getting a job. According to The Engineer, ‘women engineers earn on average £10k less per year than male colleagues.’ This gender pay gap clearly evidences the disparity between men and women. Despite the skills shortage in the automotive, aerospace, and other similar industries, women are still struggling to triumph in the job competition where men are involved.

An increasing number of female engineers are returning to work after having children, due to the time out, these women should be reintegrated with a support system and ongoing training. As the engineering industry progresses further, women will continue to contribute even more.

To find out more about the clients we work with, who have female engineers in their team, check out our website:

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