Women in Engineering
On National Women in Engineering Day, the Manufacturers’ Organisation, EEF, is encouraging women to take advantages of the career opportunities available in engineering and science-based sectors.
The association says the occasion not only gives rise to celebrating the achievements of women currently working in STEM and engineering and encouraging others, but also as a reminder of needing to find more talented individuals to fill the growing skills gap.
“Manufacturers need to find almost one million workers by 2020 simply to replace those retiring or leaving industry. This is a huge challenge and why, by 2020, we want to see the number of UK engineering graduates increased by 25 percent and a 25 percent increase in the number of apprentices completing engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships,” explained Verity O’Keefe, Senior Employment and Skills Policy Advisor at EEF.
“Women have a vital role to play in this and we cannot afford to continue to see them excluded from the talent pipeline. This is why it is so important for girls to be encouraged into STEM and into engineering. Engineering is not ‘just for boys’ – it is an open and equal opportunity to enjoy an exciting, rewarding and creative long-term career.”
Statistics show that the number of girls gaining physics GCSE A* to C is now almost equal to the number of boys. But despite this, less than 20 percent of A-level physics students are girls – in other words they’re dropping the subject while boys carry on.
In addition, the most recent stats from Engineering UK show that in 2013 only 14.2 percent of engineering graduates were female. Only 27 percent of engineering and science technicians in the UK are female.
The EEF points out that there are many benefits for female graduates choosing to enter the science and engineering sectors, not least a higher average starting salary and a “significantly higher” hourly rate for apprentices.
“National Women in Engineering Day is about raising awareness of the opportunities and inspiring more young women to seriously consider a career in engineering. It’s also a timely reminder to Government, industry and educators to ensure that every effort is made to encourage young women to aim high and to nurture their ambitions,” O’Keefe concluded.