In support of ‘International Women in Engineering Day’ 2017 we have surveyed female engineers to get their valuable insights into how perceptions are changing, what inspired their careers and how the industry can pull together to inspire future generations.
Our key findings are outlined in the infographic below, with a more detailed e-book to follow. We’d like to hear your opinions, so whether you are male or female, please tell us your stories about women in engineering.
STEM subjects not ‘just for boys’
A passion for STEM subjects inspired most of our respondents to pursue a career in engineering. However at the same time, many comments were made about how STEM subjects are still perceived as ‘for boys’ and that this could be putting barriers up to young girls taking the right path towards a future career in engineering. Campaigns directed at schools, teachers and parents could help to break down any barriers and remind everyone how STEM is a foundation for so many rewarding careers in engineering.
Raising the profile of female role models
It is felt that there is a serious lack of female engineering role models in the media for young girls and women to aspire towards. However, BBC2’s recent ‘Fifteen Billion Pound Railway’ documentary about Crossrail, featured female engineer, Linda Miller, Project Manager at Farringdon Station. Her passion was clear to see and the programme described her impressive background; “serving as a paratrooper and helicopter pilot in the US army, an engineer on a new Cape Canaveral launch complex and now working as Project Manager on the Crossrail project”. We need more role models like this, and that should be easy with the top 50 engineers in UK announced on 23 June.
Improving diversity in organisations
On the whole, the perception of women in engineering is changing within organisations in a positive way. Engineering organisations are embracing a wide range of initiatives in the area of gender diversity including STEM ambassadors, early careers teams promoting apprenticeships and graduate schemes, development programmes aimed at women and diversity and inclusion training