Encouraging women into engineering is an incredibly important issue.  There is a highly-recognised skills shortage in the UK that will cause the sector to struggle unless more is done to address the problem. The situation is further exacerbated by the worryingly low number of women entering and staying in the sector.  The UK has the lowest female engineering workforce of any European Union member; representing just 7% of all engineers.  Another aspect of these statistics is that women in engineering and technology companies tend to leave their area of work at twice the rate that men do.

The IET does a vast amount of work to encourage and support women in industry through National Women in Engineering Day, The Engineer a Better World Campaign, The Women’s Network and The Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards.

National Women in Engineering Day

Tuesday 23 June marked the National Women in Engineering Day celebrations. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) are proud to be working with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) celebrate women’s achievements in engineering and technology and showcase the great engineering careers that are available for girls. You can find out more about this year’s NWED here.

Engineer a Better World

Recently, the IET has released new research to mark the launch of its Engineer a Better World campaign. The campaign targets parents and young people, especially girls, and aims to encourage them to think about engineering as an exciting and relevant career choice.

The research investigates some of the overriding parental perceptions behind the fact that only a small percentage of engineers in the UK are women.  The aim of the campaign is to change the way parents think about engineering and move towards new ways of thinking, encouraging both their male and female children to harness their potential for an exciting, rewarding career in engineering by providing the necessary information and tools to parents.

The Women’s Network

The Women’s Network can be found on My Community; The IET’s professional networking and collaboration platform which enables like-minded individuals to connect interact and exchange knowledge.  A number of inspirational female role models can be found on this platform.  Amongst those featured is none other than IET Member and one of Marks and Spencer’s Leading Ladies; Roma Agrawal -  Roma is an Associate Director (structural engineer), who designed the top of the Shard and who is a keen advocate of women in engineering. 

The Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards

The awards, now in its 39th year, recognise the best female engineers and technicians who are rewarded for their ground-breaking achievements.  This is an effective way to alter perceptions and inspire the next generation of female engineers.  Finalists and winners go on to serve as ambassadors, helping to raise their own profile whilst also helping to attract more young people to the sector via career conventions, media interviews and engaging with schools.

The awards also recognise the best young female engineers who have entered the industry through a variety of routes, including the apprentice route. Additional prizes announced at the ceremony include the Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices and the Women's Engineering Society Prize.

Join us for this year’s Awards ceremony on the 3 December 2015.