This current imbalance is unsustainable and has led to a large scale loss of talent over many years. Thankfully more is now being done both in society and in the industry to encourage girls to engage more in maths and science in school and to support them in pursuing engineering degrees at university.
In reviewing historical gender gaps in the industry, what always comes through is that organisations with a good mix of gender, ethnicity and skills are the ones that top the bill for improved business performance and growth. There is absolutely no doubt that a good gender balance in the workplace contributes hugely to diversity of thought, perspective and practice thereby creating better working environments and businesses which are truly representative of the communities and clients they serve.
Engineering itself is a broad and diverse area of study with a huge impact on everyday life. Women have a natural drive to improve things and make them more efficient. They spot shortcomings: where lives of disadvantaged communities can be improved, how changes can be made to support the environment and augment sustainability. And with engineering contributing to 26% of the UK’s GDP, more than the retail, financial and insurance sectors combined, this truly is a top industry to explore when considering future career and profession options. Added to that, recent figures from the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance (SEMTA) cite a huge skills shortage with a need for an additional 1.8 million people to have been trained by 2025. There is no way this gap stands a chance of being plugged if females don’t come on board.
With engineering being such a varied field, it has something to excite and inspire any aspiring female engineer, from pushing boundaries, responding to challenge, to seeking solutions to sustainability, healthcare, infrastructure and artificial intelligence conundrums. If you’re up for challenge and an exciting career, engineering has got to be the choice for the women of today.