Few Women Employed in the UK’s Engineering Workforce, Study Shows

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1st August 2014 16:06 - Engineering

A recently published report has shown that women make up just six per cent of the UK’s engineering workforce.

Of the 400 employers questioned that manage engineering and IT staff, just six per cent said they employ female engineering workers in technical roles – around one percent lower than 2013’s figure, but the same as in 2011 and 2012.

Women make up less than two per cent of the respondents’ engineering apprentice roles and just three per cent of their engineering technician posts. Furthermore, participants said females represent just four per cent of their professional engineer’s workforce – lower than 2013’s (seven per cent), 2012’s (six per cent) and 2011’s (six per cent) results.

By sector, pharmaceutical and health technologies, energy and electronics have the highest proportion of women employed in engineering roles (eight per cent).

When asked what actions they had taken to improve the diversity of their workforce, around one quarter (23 per cent) said none and one fifth (20 per cent) said they hire the best candidates – indicating that more than two fifths (43 per cent) of those surveyed are not actively attempting to broaden the diversity of their workforce.

However, around one fifth (18 per cent) said they had a positive attitude towards flexible and part-time working and 16 per cent said they sent female ambassadors into schools and colleges. Others methods reportedly used to improve the diversity of respondents’ workforce include: create specific campaigns to encourage diverse groups; provide mentoring; provide structured career paths with breaks; equal opportunities policies; transparency of pay; work with schools/colleges/apprentice schemes and to recruit or promote females.

The research in this study was conducted by The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

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