The latest data is taken from the Labour Force Survey Q3 2020 which shows that the proportion of women working in engineering has increased over time both proportionally and in absolute numbers, outpacing the rate seen in the wider workforce.
Further analysis from EngineeringUK will be included in research scheduled for publication in autumn 2021. Early analysis reveals that the number of women working in engineering occupations has risen from 721,586 in Q2 of 2016 to 906,785 in Q2 of 2020. This represents a 25.7 per cent increase in women in engineering occupations and compares to a 4.6 per cent rise in the number of women in the overall workforce within that same period. Altogether, 14.5 per cent of those working in engineering occupations in Q3 of 2020 were women.
In a statement, Dr Hilary Leevers, chief executive of EngineeringUK, said: “It’s encouraging to see nearly 200,000 more women working in engineering over the last four years – something for us to celebrate on International Women in Engineering Day. Nevertheless, the fact that women represent only 14.5 per cent of those working in engineering is a serious concern.
“Women make up half the population but we draw on such a small proportion of their talent - we, and the engineering sector as a whole, need to work harder to drive change.
“Engineering is a varied and stimulating career of enormous societal value. We need to ensure that it’s a career choice that’s accessible and attractive to the next generation of young people, for their own life chances and to create the diverse and insightful workforce needed for the UK to thrive.”
A copy of the report can be found at EngineeringUK briefing: Gender disparity in engineering.