MENgineering? We don’t think so.

Women can make some of the best engineers. They have the talent to rise to the top of their field and can be world leaders in problem solving and design.

So why does it appear that these talented women rarely enter the engineering industry?

When Matchtech attended the ‘STEM and Us’ TargetJobs Breakfast Conference, the topic of women in engineering was raised as an FAQ by Marcus Body*, Head of Research for the Work Group.

Interestingly, Marcus stated that 54% of University students are females, however only 13% of female graduates go into a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematical (STEM) career. The percentage of women in engineering is even worse. In 2012, The Telegraph reported that the engineering workforce was only 6% female!

From looking at these statistics, it is easy to question whether women are simply not as good as men are at STEM subjects. Marcus points out that mathematics is particularly stereotyped as being a male dominated subject. However when Marcus looked through the statistics, his evidence showed that girls in fact averaged better GCSE and A Level Mathematics results than their male peers.

So we can clearly see that there are plenty of women who are excelling at their examinations in STEM subjects. The real question is, why are women not attracted to higher education and careers in engineering?

Marcus believes that it is because students are compelled to pursue their best subject. For women, this is often subjects from within the humanities over STEM subjects. At present, students with excellent STEM A levels but non-STEM degrees do not always reach the criteria for graduate engineer jobs.

To increase the ratio of women in engineering, should we also consider high achievers in STEM GCSEs and A Levels? Or to rephrase the question; are engineering degrees always the best reflection of potential talent?

This is certainly an interesting concept, which Matchtech are sure will provoke the thoughts of companies who are struggling to attain a balanced gender ratio in their workforce, or those looking to employ the best young talent.

Matchtech are always looking for opportunities to help women in engineering. Therefore, we are delighted to announce that there will be another Breakfast Conference which purely focuses on Women in Engineering - ‘Engineer Your Future’. Dates are yet to be confirmed, but Matchtech will certainly be keen to attend.

If you are a woman looking for work in engineering, we would like to encourage you to get in touch and let us help you with your career path. Call our Switchboard 01489 898989 and we will gladly put you through to a specialist consultant in your industry.

*Marcus is Head of Research at the Work Group. This is an insightful organisation that provides help and advice to businesses. We would encourage you to view their website.

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