University helping to tackle lack of women in engineering
Sam Willet gravatar avitar

University helping to tackle lack of women in engineering

Author: Sam Willet | Posted on: 2 August 2016

Women are still often underrepresented in many academic disciplines and industry sectors, and this is particularly applicable to engineering and the built environment. In its 2015 skills survey, The Institution of Engineering and Technology highlighted that only 9% of the engineering industry workforce is female. Whether this is the fault of educators, industry, or a disconnect between the two is certainly a subject for debate.

Beyond that though, some subjects and jobs demonstrate a gender divide for social reasons. These require education to debunk myths, such as that being an engineer means wearing overalls and getting your hands dirty. Young people need access to role models who can change their preconceived ideas about degree subjects and careers.

This video tells the story of Birmingham City University’s response to these challenges. By engaging with local schools, organising an event specifically for young women, and inviting female engineers to come and work with them on a practical project, BCU are playing their part in promoting engineering and the built environment as an appealing option to women to consider when they leave school.

 

Young women from Birmingham schools look on as their engineering projects are put to the test

The teams' structures were subjected to a particularly unforgiving test

This issue isn’t ‘just’ about diversity either. According to Engineering UK's 2016 report, between 2012 and 2022 engineering companies will need to recruit for 257,000 new vacancies. If this demand can be met, it would generate an additional £27 billion GDP per year. Getting more women into engineering can be a big step towards meeting this demand and boosting the UK economy.

 

Classmates get stuck into their practical engineering project

Supported by teachers and industry mentors, the students build their own design


Here are the two reports I've mentioned in this post:

Related Ember content:


Author: Sam Willet

Sam Willet gravatar avitar
Sam is a Producer and Client Manager at Ember Television. He has worked in online media since graduating with an MA in Film and TV from the University of Birmingham, and loves a good human interest story. You can contact him at [email protected] https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=294919697&authType=name&authToken=k-zK&trk=prof-proj-cc-name https://twitter.com/ember_samw
University helping to tackle lack of women in engineering

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