More and more women in engineering, new discoveries
According to a new study by EngineeringUK, women in engineering make up 16.5% of the engineering workforce, up from 10.5% in 2010.
Trend analysis between 2010 and 2021 showed this 6% increase, with the number of women in engineering positions also increasing from 562,000 in 2010 to 936,000 in 2021.
An overall expansion of the engineering workforce from 5.3 million in 2010 to 5.6 million in 2021 has also been demonstrated by research. The increase in the number of women in engineering positions continued to rise even as the total number of people working in engineering fell in 2020 and 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Historically, women have been underrepresented in the sector, and the report finds differences by industry. For example, women made up only 12.5% of people in engineering jobs in the engineering sector, compared to 24.4% outside the engineering sector.
This suggests that industries not traditionally associated with engineering may be more successful in attracting female engineers into the workforce.
Some roles have seen above-average increases in female representation, for example the increase from just under 19% to over 28% of women in engineering roles classified as “associate professionals in science, engineering and technology”.
Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, said: “It’s great to see an increase in the number of women in engineering roles, particularly for International Women’s Day, with nearly 370,000 women more in these roles in 2021 compared to 2010.
The fact that only 16.5% of those working in engineering are women should nonetheless be a “major concern” for the sector, Leevers said.
“We hope our analysis will stimulate further exploration of how we can do better – why are women more likely to work in engineering outside the engineering sector than within it? What changes have occurred in certain fields of engineering to make them more attractive to women? What can we do to bring more female engineers back into engineering? »
“Engineering companies and organizations recognize these needs and work together more effectively to learn how to improve our efforts. I am convinced that by learning and working together, we can accelerate the pace of change and achieve the diverse and insightful workforce needed for the UK to thrive.