BSRIA is celebrating today’s National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) in an attempt to promote the subject to students in schools and universities and encourage more women into engineering. The day is dedicated to raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of female engineers.
Engineering continues to be a male-dominated profession so the fourth NWED is a great time to address the problem. With just 13 per cent of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workers being women, BSRIA is calling on the collected construction industry to help “ignite the passion” of the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Indeed, the engineering profession has long suffered from a lack of diversity: the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe.
Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said:
“Clearly, not enough is being done to attract women into the industry. Ergo BSRIA calls on government to change the tide on this worrying trend.
Employers are realising that ‘family friendly’ policies, such as flexible working, go a long way to help attract women. But we also need to change young women’s (and their parents’) mind-sets to recognise that engineering offers a wide range of exciting opportunities and career development. Engineers and scientists touch every part of life.
It is worrying that girls as young as five start defining what they can do and often rule things out due to gender.
But BSRIA is very encouraging of women going into engineering and proud to be employing many female engineers itself who are flourishing.
History has highlighted that those who pursue science arguably make the largest impact to the world: engineers help make the future a reality.”
What can we do to redress the balance?
BSRIA’s INSPIRE project running throughout 2017 includes a series of events to inspire and engage the workforce of tomorrow with what the engineering industry has to offer. INSPIRE is based around the STEM subjects.
National Women in Engineering Day was set up on 23rd June 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary. Since 2014 the day has focused attention on the great opportunities for women in engineering, at a time when it has never been more important to address the engineering skills shortage.