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The future for women in engineering

As tradeswomen, we are all too familiar with the challenges of working in a male-dominated field like engineering. Despite the obstacles, we have persevered and proven that women have just as much to contribute to this vital industry as men do.

As we look to the future, it’s clear that the opportunities for women in engineering are only set to grow.

The current state of women in engineering

Currently, women make up just 16.5% of all engineers in the UK. While this represents a 25% increase since 2016, it’s clear that there is still a significant gender gap in the engineering workforce. However, this is not due to a lack of interest or ability among women. In fact, at the GCSE level, girls make up 48% of students taking STEM subjects.

So why do so few of these young women go on to pursue careers in engineering? One major factor is the lack of visible role models and mentors. When young girls think of engineers, they often picture a white man in a hard hat. This stereotype can make it difficult for them to see themselves in these roles.

Inspiring the next generation

To encourage more women to enter the engineering field, we need to start by inspiring the next generation. This means challenging the stereotypes that suggest engineering is a “man’s job” and showcasing the amazing work that women engineers around the world are doing to support lives and livelihoods every day.

Initiatives like International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) play a vital role in this effort. By celebrating the contributions of women engineers and highlighting the many opportunities available in this field, INWED helps to inspire young girls to consider a career in engineering.

Supporting women in the workplace

Of course, inspiring young women to enter the field is only half the battle. We also need to ensure that once they begin their careers, they have the support and resources they need to thrive. Unfortunately, women in engineering are four times more likely to leave the profession than men, often due to a lack of accommodations for things like maternity leave and flexible working arrangements.

To retain more women in engineering, companies need to prioritise creating an inclusive work environment that values diversity and supports the unique needs of women. This might include offering mentorship programs, employee resource groups, and training on unconscious bias.

The benefits of gender diversity

Not only does gender diversity create a more equitable and inclusive industry, but it also leads to better outcomes for everyone. Here are some of the key benefits of gender diversity in engineering:

  • Increased innovation and creativity: Diverse teams bring a wider range of perspectives and experiences to the table, leading to more innovative and creative solutions.
  • Enhanced problem-solving: Research has shown that diverse teams are more effective at solving complex problems than homogeneous ones.
  • Improved decision-making: Gender-diverse teams make better decisions, as they consider a broader range of viewpoints and avoid groupthink.
  • Stronger business performance: Companies with diverse leadership teams have been shown to outperform their less diverse counterparts financially.
  • Greater talent pool: By attracting and retaining more women in engineering, companies can tap into a larger pool of skilled and talented professionals.

As we work to build a more sustainable and resilient future, we need all the talent and perspectives we can get. By empowering more women to enter and succeed in engineering, we can tap into a wealth of untapped potential and drive progress in everything from renewable energy to biomedical technology.

Tradesman Talk

Here at Tradesman Saver, we’re proud to support women in the trades, with affordable tradesperson insurance for both men and women. Let’s keep lifting each other up, mentoring the next generation, and showing the world what women in engineering can do.

 Together, we can break down barriers and build a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

Source: https://www.womenintech.co.uk/women-in-engineering/  

Darragh Timlin

With over 25 years’ experience, Darragh is an expert in all things insurance. Starting his career in commercial property underwriting, Darragh has worked for a number of global insurers and is now Managing Director of Tradesman Saver, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Darragh Timlin

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