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National Women in Engineering Day: Why the shortage of females?

It’s National Women in Engineering Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of female engineers and raising awareness of their position in the industry. Events are taking place across the UK today, organised by the Women’s Engineering Society as part of its 96th anniversary celebrations.

Fewer than one in 10 British engineers are female, which is the lowest rate in Europe. Engineering UK has estimated that 87,000 new engineers will be needed here each year over the next decade, and the lack of female engineers is contributing to a damaging skills shortage in this vital sector.

So what’s the reason for this deficit? It’s thought that the traditional ‘dirty hands’ perception of engineering puts many females off, while they’re unaware of the exciting opportunities for creativity and problem-solving in the industry. Many women are also deterred by engineering as they are concerned at potentially being the only female in a male-dominated workplace. This presents a catch-22 situation, because until more women fill engineering positions, the profession can’t become appealing to other females.

Many people believe the attitude that girls who are good at maths and science at school should naturally become doctors or vets is outdated and restrictive. Teachers and parents who hold this opinion should be more aware that maths and science skills are perfectly suited to the precision and logic-orientated world of engineering. Girls with these skills can then be informed about engineering and given opportunities to explore it should they show an interest. We’ve offered apprenticeships to young engineers for decades, and a lack of female applicants hasn’t gone unnoticed.

A career in engineering offers an exciting, rewarding and valuable occupation, and the increasing demand for skilled engineers means that opportunities have never been greater. If you’re good, you’ll go far, whatever your gender.

As Gibbons continues to expand, we’re often looking to recruit talented people to join our team of expert engineers. We’d love to hear from men and women interested in a career with us, so if you’d like to enquire about the exciting opportunities at Gibbons, talk to one of our friendly team on 01621 868138 or email and we’ll get straight back to you.

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