Semta report reveals key factor to inspire women into engineering
13 Feb 2017
Female engineering recruits may be more inspired by the prospect of interesting work than career prospects and pay alone, suggests a new report.
Engineering Skills for the Future, released by employer-led skills sector organisation Semta, identifies that the minority of women engineers are highly motivated by stimulating work and place less emphasis than their male counterparts on the financial returns alone.
Semta CEO Ann Watson said: “Despite a huge effort by employers to address the gender issue, just 3% of engineering apprenticeships are started by women. We need to ask whether we’re using the right messages to encourage women to enter the sector.
“Without narrowing the engineering gender gap, there’s simply no way we will ever be able to recruit the engineers employers need. If our sector’s skills needs aren’t met, the economy as a whole will suffer and we’ll all be worse off.”
We need to ask whether we’re using the right messages to encourage women to enter the sector
Ann Watson, CEO, Semta
Watson added that the prospect of Brexit made it more essential than ever to attract more female recruits, now that it would become more difficult to attract candidates from abroad.
“If we are going to find it more difficult to bring people in from overseas then we need to do much better at making the very most of the potential engineering workforce at home,” she warned.
Chairman Allan Cook said the annual Skills Show, staged recently, demonstrated the potential female recruits represented: of the seven female entrants into the engineering competition finals, a total of six won medals.
He commented: “We simply have to do more on diversity and inclusion in our sector, because if we don’t we’re ignoring the potential contribution of half of our population. The Skills Show proves that where women become engineers, they usually go on to do brilliant things.
“It’s so important that we can show everyone, but especially women, that a career in engineering can offer you so much more than just a monthly pay cheque and a pension – it gives you the chance to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges and to really make your mark on society.”