Today is National Women in Engineering Day – designed to raise the profile and celebrate the achievements of women in engineering. Here are some key facts and stats from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, about women in engineering and why it is vital for more young women to take advantage of the opportunities presented by engineering today:
- The number of girls gaining physics GCSE A* to C is now almost equal to the number of boys - however, less than 20% of A-level physics students are girls.
- In 2013 only 14.2% of engineering graduates were female.
- While just over half (51%) of female Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates go into STEM roles, this rises to 68% amongst male STEM graduates.
- Only 27% of engineering and science technicians are female
- At less than 10%, the UK has one of the lowest number of female engineers in Europe.
- The average pay for an engineering apprentice is £6.50 an hour, significantly higher than in other sectors.
- The average graduate starting salary for engineering and technology is £26,636 – a fifth higher than the typical starting salary for other graduates.
- Two-thirds of manufacturers plan to recruit an engineering apprentice in the next 12 months, while two-thirds plan to recruit an engineering graduate in the next 3 years.
Manufacturers need to find almost one million workers by 2020 simply to replace those retiring or leaving industry. This is a huge challenge and why, by 2020, we want to see the number of UK engineering graduates increased by 25% and a 25% increase in the number of apprentices completing engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships.
Women have a vital role to play in this and we cannot afford to continue to see them excluded from the talent pipeline. This is why it is so important for girls to be encouraged into STEM and into engineering. Engineering is not ‘just for boys’ – it is an open and equal opportunity to enjoy an exciting, rewarding and creative long-term career.
We have blogged many times before on this important topic and made continued calls to government, industry, educators, young people and their parents to really push forward the message that more women should be in engineering. Here's a reminder of some of those blogs:
Cars, conveyor belts and robots are usual boys stuff...or are they?
How you see STEM, How you don't Part I
Perceptions of STEM: The boiler is broken....the 'engineer' is coming to fix it
A-Level results day: Manufacturers are crying out for young talent