International Women in Engineering Day

This year, Saturday 23rd June 2018 is International Women in Engineering Day.

Five facts about the Engineering industry:

  • Engineering generated 23% (£1.23 trillion) of the UK’s total turnover for the financial year ending 31st March 2016.
  • 19% of the UK’s total workforce are employed in the Engineering sector.
  • In 2015/16 women accounted for only 6.8% of Engineering apprenticeship starts.
  • In 2017, there were 48,449 women with Professional Engineering Occupations.
  • 1% of Engineering undergraduates in the UK in 2017 were women.

In 2017, there were 48,449 women with Professional Engineering occupations, which is an increase of nearly 12,000 more women than in 2016. These numbers show an increase from 8% to 11% of women working within the industry.

According to WISE, the proportion of women completing Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies Apprenticeships is on the up, with women now representing 7% (3,380) of students in 2016/2017, compared to 6.8% (3,050) the previous academic year. However, the same cannot be said for female Engineering and Technology graduates, with women representing just 14% of these; the same for three years in a row.

So, what is being done to encourage and support women in Engineering?

International Women in Engineering Day was developed and coordinated by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate the achievements of women in Engineering and inspire younger generations. The annual event was originally launched in 2014 as National Women in Engineering Day by WES to celebrate their 95th anniversary. It later became an internationally celebrated day in 2017.

WES is a professional, not-for-profit network of female Engineers, Scientists and Technologists offering inspiration, support and professional development.

Organisations are supporting WES in inspiring and educating younger girls about careers within Engineering. By inspiring the next generation to choose core STEM subjects and educating them about the career paths within the Engineering industry, it opens up more job opportunities for them, as the number of roles in Engineering and Technology grows.

Organisations are also helping to improve and promote gender equality and diversity within the workplace. They are making changes to bridge the gender pay gap, change the perception of the Engineering industry and educate people on how rewarding a career within the industry can be.

There is also a campaign, Top 50 Women in Engineering 2018 (WE50), which aims to reward women who work within Engineering. This year the theme is Returners or Transferrers, which means nominees will be women in Engineering who have returned after at least an 18 month break or have transferred to Engineering from another sector.

Kirsten Bodley, CEO of the Women’s Engineering Society says about International Women in Engineering Day 2018:

We are really pleased to have so much support for International Women in Engineering Day this year, where the theme is ‘Raising the Bar’. This chimes really well in the UK with 2018 being the ‘Year of Engineering’ and 100 years since (some) women gained the vote, whilst continuing to encourage global support and engagement in celebrating those who have visibly demonstrated their support for diversity in the engineering sector.

References:
  1. https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/resources/2017/10/women-in-stem-workforce-2017
  2. https://www.wes.org.uk/content/wesstatistics
  3. https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/resources/2018/03/women-on-stem-apprenticeships-201617
  4. https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/resources/2018/02/core-stem-graduates-2017
  5. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships
  6. http://www.engineeringuk.com/umbraco/surface/report/ReturnReport/?file=pdf
  7. http://www.inwed.org.uk/

 

 

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