Kelly Parker, head of recruitment at engineering consultancy Edif ERA explains what the company’s doing to attract more female engineers
- 64% of engineering companies suggest a shortage of engineers is a threat to their UK business
- There are just 9% of women in the engineering workforce
With National Women in Engineering Day on 23rd June we’ve been reflecting on how we can attract more female engineers into careers across our growing global organisation.
As we all know, the UK needs to significantly increase the number of people with engineering skills. The Women in Engineering Society (WES) advised in 2015 that the annual shortfall of the right engineering skills was listed at 55,000.
We need to double, at least, the number of UK based university engineering students and with only 15.8% of engineering and technology UK undergraduates being female there is a clear divide that we, as employers, should have an active interest in improving.
Interestingly, there is little gender difference in the take up of and achievement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) GCSE subjects.
To support this Edif ERA recently promoted STEM subjects at a local high school with a “day in the life of” tour with possible work experience opportunities to follow.
So what are we doing? 14.4% of our workforce is female, above the average but not enough. We consider our influence from job advertisement to employee retention.
Recruitment decisions are based on competence and cultural fit – a visible harmony between the skills and values of the candidate and our organisation, not a biased “he’s like me – lets recruit him!” approach.
We offer “female friendly” policies, such as flexible working and closely monitor employee metrics including gender specific salary and promotion data.
Gayathiri Balamurali – Consultant, Power Engineering
I found my way into engineering in a similar way to many I’ve met; because I enjoyed maths.
I was exposed to the world of engineering from very early age because of my family background.
Engineering offers us the chance to make the world a better, safer and more exciting place.
My interest in electricity and electrical power systems started from young age, with much experience of regular power-cuts. I joined the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, for my undergraduate education, after a very successful secondary education and graduated with a Gold Medal in a male dominated field.
I joined Edif ERA in 2012 and the nature of the business allows me to work on a variety of interesting projects around the world e.g. power system planning, protection design, and technical due diligence etc.
This is very rewarding and allows different, and sometimes unexpected, skills to be developed. My role requires me to think analytically, constantly solve problems and look for answers. It’s always a challenge which I enjoy.
I have always felt comfortable with being a woman in engineering. Women have traditionally been underrepresented in the field of engineering, and I am proud to take a small step alongside other female engineers to prove women can also do great things in engineering.”
Gayathiri is a fantastic example of the diversity and passion our teams are built from. As a Consultancy with nearly 100 years of success our continued aim is to seek out talent world-wide to join us in adding value and driving innovation. Whilst on this journey we will actively consider our positive impact on the female engineering workforce.
Who are Edif ERA?
For critical industries and environments world-wide, Edif ERA provides engineering and consultancy services to reduce risk, optimise performance and enhance capability, giving our customers in defence and security, energy, industry, and transport sectors the confidence to build successful operations. We have a depth of expertise which has developed from our long and rich history that goes beyond standard engineering consultancies. We are proud to put our people and clients at the heart of everything we do. Our success is based on a perfect blend of talented, exceptional employees with different backgrounds and experiences.
If you would like to consider a career with Edif ERA (male or female!) www.edifera.com/careers will provide you with more information and current vacancies.