Survey profiles women engineers

A survey carried out by The UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology has provided a picture of how women engineers are perceived in the industry.


A survey carried out by The UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (UKRC) has provided a picture of how women engineers are perceived in the industry.


UKRC collaborated with engineering staffing company EPCglobal to survey 2,191 engineers across all fields and from around the world, including 702 from the UK. Of the respondents, 28 per cent were women.


Among other findings, the survey showed that there is agreement among 86 per cent of UK engineers that women are under-represented in engineering, but only 41 per cent know the rough proportion of women in the profession and that of UK-based employers, 27 per cent are perceived to have gender diverse workplaces at all levels. In the US the figure is 37 per cent.


The survery also found that the single piece of support that should be given to women in engineering is non-discriminatory company practices and policies, according to 38 per cent of respondents. Flexible working was the choice of 19 per cent, and 18 per cent thought nothing should be done. The most important obstacle to women entering engineering is considered by 25 per cent of correspondents to be ‘ambient culture within school which reinforces stereotypical choices of subject taken by girls’.


 


Of the engineers who responded, 30 per cent don’t think women perform as well as men in all fields and at all seniorities, and 38 per cent think it does not matter that women engineers are under-represented.



 


The Women and Work commission says that both women individually and the UK economy would benefit to the tune of £23 billion if more women had access to and stayed in higher paying jobs such as engineering.

One respondent commented, “Women graduates in engineering probably have a better chance than in other areas, there are just very few of them.”