How do we attract more women into Construction and Engineering?December 24th, 2008 by Barry Potier
The new equalities bill announced earlier this year by equalities minister Harriet Harman is a step in the right direction, but does it go far enough to encourage more women to take up a career in the construction and engineering industry?
To attract more females to pursue further educational courses in the industry, we have to enlist the help of teachers in our high schools. At present fewer school age girls are studying the core subjects of Maths and Physics which are pre-requisites for the majority of construction and engineering degree courses.
Only about 15% of university engineering students are female and girls make up fewer than 3% of apprentices in engineering and construction. According to the University of Cambridge “the difficultly in attracting women to engineering appears to be one of image and the misconception that engineering is synonymous with car mechanics and greasy overalls.”
This is not to say that women cannot and do not reach the highest of levels in the industry. There are however very few examples of notable achievement at CEO level. After several phases of analysis, including claims that the industry as a whole is sexist and unwilling to change, there is now considerable investment occurring to encourage women into the engineering sector.
WISE, women into science, engineering and construction, is one UK organisation that aims to remove this image. The WISE campaign collaborates with a range of partners in encouraging UK girls of school age to value engineering or construction related courses in school or college, and move on into related careers.
Careers in construction and engineering are extremely rewarding and in the ever changing world of technology there will always be a need for well qualified personnel. So come on girls, what are you waiting for? We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.
We’d love to hear from women who are already working in the industry. Tell us your stories and help motivate other women to secure a lucrative career.