The rise of women in engineering

08 March 2021

Traditionally, engineering has been a sector that has a very low number of women, however in the UK we are seeing the number increase.

by Melissa Conlon, Commercial Director, AMRC North West

There has been a rise not only in women who are choosing careers in engineering but also in the number and nature of engineering jobs that are available. This high demand for engineers is mainly due to the newer challenges faced by the world, for example the climate emergency , and the opportunities brought about by new industrial digital technologies, known as ‘Industry 4.0’.

Women represent 50% of society therefore when designing new products, it is necessary to understand the needs of all potential users. In general, women bring a different perspective to problem solving; they have a natural propensity to want to improve things and make them more efficient, helping disadvantaged communities or impacting on the environment and sustainability. Consequently, many inventions created by female engineers came about through a desire to improve a process or equipment that is not working effectively. They want to make things better. This approach by female engineers has provided us with inventions that span windscreen wipers, life rafts and airplane engine mufflers to dishwashers and central heating.

Studies indicate that companies are 15% more likely to perform better if they have a gender diverse workforce and that greater gender diversity makes companies more adaptable, more productive, and more responsive to their customers' needs.

Engineering is an exciting, creative and diverse career offering many opportunities to do something life-changing and even world-changing. Not only does engineering offer women the opportunity to have an interesting, challenging and rewarding career, but it will also pay well. It is a fulfilling career for women and there are thousands of female engineers delivering ground-breaking technologies, from designing future cities and transport systems, to making advancements in healthcare technology and space exploration. It is a very exciting time to be an engineer and there are many engineering challenges ahead of society that will benefit hugely from the involvement of female engineers.

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