Why Women Should Be Encouraged to Work in Engineering

Chemical engineering.

Why Women Should Be Encouraged to Work in Engineering

It is estimated that by 2022, the skills shortage in the UK will amount to around 1.82 million people. Sectors such as technology and science with be some of the hardest hit and so will the engineering sector. As this sector, in particular, is well known for its patriarchal tendencies, it makes a lot of sense that women should begin to get more involved. Here we explore why women should be encouraged to work in engineering.

What’s in a Name: An Overview of the Engineering Sector

Perhaps we need to rename the engineering sector, as by definition the current name is somewhat outdated. It will come as no surprise that the industry is no longer just a place where engines are designed and built – it hasn’t been for many years.

The modern engineering industry contains a multitude of exciting and state-of-the-art disciplines including, avionics engineering, applications engineering and chemical engineering. Many of these don’t have the same male connotations that more traditional engineering roles, rightly or wrongly, have. There are, however, some common factors that are found in all of these areas.

What it Takes to Become an Engineer

A talent for mathematics is a huge plus for those who are looking to enter the engineering sector and work their way up to the top. But it is an inquisitive nature when it comes to factors like solving problems, building things and finding out how things work that is perhaps, more important.

As we know, women are just as capable in these areas as anyone else and so maybe it is just a matter of incentive and encouragement that accounts for the fact that only around 7% of engineers are female. And media stereotypes don’t help matters – men are the ones who are, more often than not, featured in engineering roles.

Why Enter the Industry?

As we have already mentioned there is a shortage of engineers, companies across the UK are desperate to find new talent. This is one good reason for wanting to enter the industry, but there are plenty more, for example, it pays well. Engineers are some of the highest paid professionals in the land.

Furthermore, you don’t need to be an academic genius to enter the industry. There are jobs available at many different levels and many pathways into the sector. You can find out more by contacting organisations such as the London Engineering Project, the Tomorrows Engineers programme or by visiting the annual Big Bang Fair.

Encouraging women to enter the world of engineering makes sense on many levels. In doing so they are being encouraged to enter an industry that offers opportunity, that is secure, but at the same time challenging and they are being encouraged to break the mold and further equality.  

Poppy Watt