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Support at school and home critical to diversity in engineering

Girls in Engineering

Written By: Tom Austin-Morgan  26/10/15

Hays Engineering and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) recently held a Women in Engineering round table event discussing their ‘Diversifying the Talent Pipeline 2015’ report. The research highlights the views of engineers surrounding encouragement both at school and home for girls to pursue careers in engineering and the need to address the gender balance in the profession.

The main reason cited by 74% of engineers as leading to the low number of female engineers is that the profession is still seen a ‘boys’ job’. This perception is perpetuated by a lack of encouragement at school and home, with 63% of engineers saying that engineering is not encouraged as a career option at school, while 60% say it is not encouraged by family.

Over 2800 mechanical engineers were surveyed for the report. The research revealed differing views between the genders as to what would help encourage more female engineers. Some 43% of women said more flexible working patterns would be beneficial, compared to just 28% of men. Almost a third (32%) of women said that a focus from senior management on increasing numbers for female engineers was needed, compared to under 20% of men.

Mike Morgan, director at Hays Engineering said: “Our results show that change can only come if we engage with girls about engineering from a much younger age, and continue to do so throughout the education process. The fact that over two thirds of people think engineering is not being pitched as a viable career option for women is a major factor behind its low take-up.

“Although promising steps are being made and more women are entering the profession, it is essential that the industry does more to improve both the public image of engineering and the culture within the industry to attract more talented individuals, regardless of gender or background, to the industry.”

Source: Eureka Magazine

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