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Awesome opportunities for women engineers

 April 30, 2013

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A recent skills survey from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) highlighted there is a significant gender gap in engineering roles. This gains specific importance when considering that only 6% of engineering roles in the UK are currently held by women, a figure that has remained unchanged since 2011.
Despite efforts having been made in the engineering, technology and science sectors to promote gender equality, it is still difficult to see that progress reflected in young women taking up these subjects in education. Cultural preconceptions and attitudes still need to be enlightened further.
Not only do these issues contribute to the gender gap, which is wider than in most other industries, it also adds to the current skills shortage, which damages the economy. Most importantly, however, it means that women are missing out on valuable and rewarding career opportunities.
With the rise of university tuition fees and many students now expected to graduate with debt levels of above £40,000, it is clear that many women are now opting for courses that will prove to be a beneficial investment and lead to better prospects for employment, such as science and engineering.  However, continued support is needed in order to maintain this momentum.
The IET itself invests a great deal of time and resources into attracting more women into engineering and promoting STEM careers and subjects, to address the current gender gap, but more support from industry and government is needed. We have come a long way in the last twenty years and have seen some good progress, but clearly a lot more can be done to further close the gap.
It is delightful to see that actions are beginning to take hold as subjects like science and maths are gaining more and more popularity at A-Level, particularly among young women. There is already a number of inspiring role models out there and the IET will honour them at the annual IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards ceremony on December 6th at the IET London, Savoy Place.
Attend this ceremony free of charge, support female engineering and ensure that our young women enjoy rewarding careers for generations to come.

Linda Deleay is Awards & Prizes Manager at The Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET). Linda is passionate about getting more women into engineering and celebrating their success. Linda is responsible for managing the IET's awards programme and oversees their strategy, budgets, planning, selection processes, award ceremonies, marketing and PR. Linda liaises with funders, sponsors, award winners and judging panel members across a range of UK and international schemes.

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