Ways To Inspire Women Into Engineering RolesBlogs
Ways To Inspire Women Into Engineering Roles
According to Times Higher Education only around 13 percent of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce is female. Engineering is traditionally a male-dominated industry, but this is changing - more and more women are now considering a career in engineering and joining this diverse and rewarding sector. There is an increasing engineering skills shortage, which is why it is vital that more young women are encouraged to consider careers in STEM. With this in mind, here are some of the top ways to inspire women into engineering roles.
Female Engineering Campaigns
There have been a number of campaigns in recent years designed to encourage women to consider engineering roles. The International Women in Engineering Day takes place every June to celebrate the amazing achievements of female engineers all across the world. There are fun and informative events held all across the UK such as networking breakfasts, competitions, and debates. WISE Campaign was designed to increase the participation, contribution, and success of women in STEM careers and restore gender balance in male-dominated industries. According to WISE - “Our industry-led Ten Steps programme helps employers create inclusive cultures that support women in STEM, with programmes led by the board and directors being personally accountable for their diversity and inclusion performance.”
Accessible Training Programmes
Advancements in technology have helped make training courses and qualifications more accessible. Many courses can now be completed online during your spare time, which is especially convenient for people in full time work or with other commitments that would prevent them from attending a classroom-based course. This makes it far easier for women to retrain and pursue a career change in later life if they decide that they would like to enter the engineering industry.
As well as this, there are a large number of graduate schemes for the engineering industry, and for a range of sectors too. These schemes are a great idea for graduates as they provide a vital first step into this world, as you gain first-hand experience and learn vital skills that will help you progress. Graduate schemes usually last two years, which gives you plenty of time to expand your knowledge, help discover your preferred engineering sector, and prove your worth to potential employers.
There are also a number of engineering recruitment agencies that specialise in helping people find employment in the engineering sector. This makes it easier for women to secure work in the field once they are qualified.
Inspiring Female Engineers
Celebrating the outstanding work of successful female engineers is a fantastic way to inspire more women to consider a career in engineering. WE50’s Top 50 Women in Engineering was launched back in 2016 to celebrate the valuable work of engineers and promote the contribution that women have made to the industry. For instance, Paige Kassalen was the first and youngest female engineer to work on the world’s first solar-powered plane, Solar Impulse II. She was featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2017 and was recognised for her outstanding engineering work and contribution towards sustainable practices.
Jill Hruby is the director of Sandia National Laboratories and became the first woman to manage one of the nation's three nuclear weapons laboratories back in 2015. She was honoured by the Society of Women Engineers in 2016 for entering one of the most respected engineering organisations and for helping other women get into the engineering industry. These inspiring female engineers act as great role models to young girls and help break down gender barriers in industries that are traditionally dominated by men.
Encourage girls to choose STEM subjects
One of the main reasons that women are not studying engineering degrees at university is because they did not pick the correct A-levels subjects to get them onto the courses. However, steps can be taken to change this. Firstly, Universities should go into schools and speak with young girls to make them aware of their options and discuss the benefits of careers in non-traditional industries like engineering. This may encourage more girls to choose STEM subjects and pursue careers in engineering and related sectors. Parents should also encourage their daughters to consider all of the career options available to them and not rule out industries they consider ‘manly.’
Banish Engineering Myths
There are many myths surrounding the field of engineering and lots of people are unsure of what an engineer actually does. For instance, many people believe that the role of an engineer involves wearing a high-visibility jacket and getting dirty doing manual labour, but this is not the case. Engineers are highly-trained professionals who use their math and science skills to solve a wide variety of technical problems. They can work in a hugely diverse range of settings and choose to specialise in many different engineering sectors including - chemical, aerospace, civil, and mechanical. It is important that women are made aware of what the role actually involves, so they can make an informed decision about whether a career in engineering would be suitable for them.