Companies are being urged to look again at their recruitment and retention policies to ensure they are doing everything possible to attract more women into engineering.
The campaign is being launched today, to coincide with National Women in Engineering Day, by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which has nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries around the world.
The IET argues that because only 7% of the total UK engineering workforce is female, engineering companies are not accessing half of the potential talent pool. Given an impending skills crisis in engineering and technology, it says this makes poor business sense.
In a recent survey of the gender talent gap in oil & gas engineering, recruitment specialist NES Global Talent found:
- 75% of women feel welcome working in the oil & gas industry, yet almost half (45%) believe they do not get the same recognition as their male colleagues
- 95% believe mentors are important for career advancement in the oil & gas industry, yet 42% said they were neither a mentor nor a mentee.
Rebecca Ridley, associate director for UK client development at NES Global Talent, said: “Many respondents said they are paid less, have fewer opportunities than their male counterparts and have to work harder than men to prove themselves. There are clear improvements to be made, if the oil & gas sector is to attract larger numbers of female engineers in the future.”
With events taking place across the UK, National Women in Engineering Day celebrates the achievements of women in engineering. It has been set up by the Women’s Engineering Society to mark its 95th anniversary and focus attention on opportunities for women in engineering, ‘at a time when it has never been more important to address the engineering skills shortage’, according to the Society’s website.