Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day: The Growing Role of Women in Engineering

Engineering has long been considered a male-dominated field, but over the years, there has been a significant shift with more and more women pursuing careers in the industry. International Women in Engineering Day is on the 23rd June and acts as a global platform to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in engineering.

There was an overall expansion of the engineering workforce from 5.3 million in 2010 to 5.6 million in 2021. Of this total workforce, women currently make up 16.5% of all engineers, compared to 10.5% reported in 2010. The increase in the number of women in engineering roles also continued to rise even when the total number of people working in engineering fell in 2020 and 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The changing landscape of engineering has created a broader range of career opportunities. Traditionally male-dominated fields, such as civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, now see a growing presence of women. Additionally, emerging fields like biotechnology, environmental engineering, and renewable energy have provided unique avenues for women to contribute their expertise and make a significant impact.

Whilst it is encouraging to see an increase in the number of women working in the industry there is room for this to continue to grow. International Women in Engineering day, and organisations such as the Women’s Engineering Society help with the visibility of the industry and highlight the achievements of women engineers, demonstrating to younger women that engineering is a viable and rewarding option.

Promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education among girls from an early age is crucial to inspire and cultivate interest in an engineering career.

Encouraging participation in STEM programs, mentorship initiatives, professional societies, networking events and hands-on experiences can pave the way for future generations of women engineers.  Educational institutions and industry stakeholders have actively promoted diversity and inclusivity, encouraging more women to pursue engineering degrees. It is fantastic that we are seeing positive changes such as these in women studying engineering programmes, with the number of female engineering students at 15.8% in 2022.

This is a positive for businesses, embracing a diverse workforce allows for a broader range of ideas, problem-solving approaches, and creativity, ultimately leading to more inclusive and impactful engineering solutions.

The landscape of engineering is slowly evolving, and women are increasingly becoming an integral part of this transformation. Through increased enrolment, expanded career opportunities, supportive networks, and inspiring role models, women are making significant strides in engineering.

Wallace Hind are delighted to be an integral part of the engineering industry and to support the increasing presence of women in across the sector.  If you are currently recruiting, have a difficult role to fill or would like an informal chat, we would be delighted to help.

Please contact Lee Henning, LH@wallacehind.com, 01604 683 314.

*Statistics from Women’s engineering society (https://www.wes.org.uk/)

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