Are we doing enough to entice women into engineering?
There are some frustrating realities still very much at large for working women in general, such as the gender pay gap and pregnancy discrimination. Promoting equal opportunities is so prominent to businesses today and this is heavily influenced by the constant awareness being raised on business communities such as LinkedIn.
What is a major concern, is that in many industries, the male-to-female employment ratios are hugely imbalanced. But why are concerns like this not as widely recognised as more familiar issues like the gender pay gap?
Engineering in particular, is a highly male dominated sector. After conducting some research, Energy Jobline discovered that only 17.87% of our unique users are female and only 7% of the engineering population as a whole are women. These figures seem astounding, until I discover that the proportion of young women studying engineering and physics has remained virtually static since 2012.
Are young women being poorly educated about the opportunities for female engineers? If so, should more engineering employers host in-school workshops about jobs in engineering? If female students are not being encouraged to develop an education in engineering, the male to female ratios will remain more or less gridlocked.
It’s important to highlight that engineering is a hugely broad term and there are many different avenues to consider. Young women need to be enticed to work in the industry and unfortunately, many young girls believe engineering entails sticking on a hard hat matched with a pair of steel cap boots and drinking strong tea. Young students are highly impressionable when it comes to making career decisions and it seems that engineering isn’t making the best impression on the young girls of today.
Energy Jobline has recently partnered with EDF Energy to further enhance their recruitment process. We have been working closely with the EDF team for some time and what was really great to see is that they recently conducted a project to provide discovery for a group of school girls in the hope that this will enable them to have a much wider landscape of thought when considering their career options and perhaps a career in engineering. If more companies are encouraged to support these kinds of projects, we can provide our young women with vital information that could significantly change the proportions of male to female engineers year-on-year.
Engineering plays a part in almost everything we see. The button you press to cross the road safely, the solar panels on your neighbour’s roof… We should be showing our young women just how many of these everyday things wouldn’t exist without a team of skilled engineers.
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