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Too few female engineers

18 April 2013

In the 21 years since IP&E was launched many new products have been developed and technology has evolved to meet the demands of the 21st century. However, what has changed very little is the number of women choosing a career in engineering....

The EEF recently published its first FTSE 100 Women in Manufacturing report. The study found that currently nine out of ten engineers in the UK are male and that since 2008 the number of female engineers has gone up by just 1% to 6%. The UK has fewer female engineers than almost anywhere else in the European Union.

Certainly in the past engineering was a physically demanding job that often entailed working in unpleasant conditions. With today’s equipment and the increased focus on health and safety, it is a very different environment. It is a far more level playing field; both men and women can enjoy an exhilarating career and be well rewarded.

The problem is how to get that message across to young women starting to think about life after school. The EEF has challenged manufacturers to get more apprentices and manufacturing graduates involved in going back into their schools and colleges to promote careers in industry. I hope that our female engineers will respond and go and spread the word that UK manufacturing is alive and well and that engineering offers a vibrant career path that is open to both men and women.