The international awareness campaign is in its third year and aims to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the vast array of career opportunities that are available.
According to the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), only 9% of the engineering workforce is female, with the UK holding the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe. These statistics are despite the fact that around 64% of employers in the industry have a shortage of employees. A study carried out by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, however, has shown that half of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) university enrolments are female, with around 33% made up of engineering, technology and computer science undergraduates.
WES believe that ‘by encouraging girls into engineering careers we will not only be increasing diversity and inclusion – a business imperative – but also enabling us to fill the substantial future job opportunities that have been predicted in this sector.’ Their views are backed by a global survey which found that 85% of corporate diversity and talent leaders agreed that ‘a diverse and inclusive workplace is crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that drive innovation.’
In the run up to today, a number of companies have been getting involved to show their support. British Airways’ female engineering experts have called on other girls and women to take up career opportunities in the fields, while O2 is to give 30 secondary school students an insight into the telecoms industry.
The great debate over the significant lack of women in engineering has remained in the spotlight for some time, so could this important day be about to challenge perceptions for the better?