Over recent years we have seen great strides towards gender equality in the workplace. After the #MeToo movement the importance of gender inequality and discrimination has become much more of a focus for many businesses. However, the Engineering industry still has a significant way to go.
Around 12% of Engineers are women, and this statistic decreases further when we look at advanced roles in Engineering. As an industry we need to acknowledge this gender difference and look at ways to decrease this gap.
Like many labour industries, Engineering is experiencing a huge skills shortage with a clear increase in demand for Engineers in many countries across the world. In fact, ‘The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering’ warns this increasing skills shortage could not only have a detrimental impact on the sector, but a significant global impact on our economic growth.
To help bridge this gap, as an industry we need to change the way female Engineers are perceived, which includes the way females view the industry. Kristen Bodley, CEO of The Women’s Engineering Society (WES), believes there is misconception of what Engineering actually involves and how broad the sector is.
She believes women are more disposed to creative roles where they can help others and if they were more informed about the improvements the Engineering industry is making to our communities, they would be more inclined to consider roles within Engineering.
By encouraging a more gender diverse workforce, Engineering businesses will not only help bridge the skills gap, but they will also help towards greater business success. According to a recent article published by the UN Global Compact, businesses who invest into the importance of gender equality experience higher productivity, higher return on investment and higher consumer satisfaction.
If you are a female in the Engineering sector we would love to hear about your experience and how you think we can help towards a more gender diverse industry. You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.