International Women’s Day is all about challenging stereotypes and bias

engineering careers  International Women’s Day is all about challenging stereotypes and bias

This year International Women’s Day is all about challenging stereotypes and bias with #PressforProgress.

Watch Our Born to Engineer Film Pushing Boundaries – Women in Engineering – Follow Dawn Bonfield on her journey looking at some incredible and inspiring stories of female engineers – could the next one be you? Celebrate National Women in Engineering Day on 23 June.

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality.

The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, and it is only through challenging the stereotypes around our industry are we going to change that.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2017 is ##PressforProgress. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity.

There’s a loud call to ##PressforProgress by motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

The Good News for Women In Engineering

It isn’t all bad news for Women in Engineering. The 2017 WES survey showed 11% of the engineering workforce is now female – a definite change from the 9% in 2015

Progress has happened in schools. There is now very little gender difference in take-up of and achievement in core STEM GCSE subjects.

The number of Women Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering has doubled from (an admittedly low) 2% in 2006 and 4% in 2014.

The WES survey also revealed that out of the 300 female engineers they contacted 84% were either happy or extremely happy with their career choice and Engineering students are now a close second to medical students in securing full-time jobs and earning good salaries.

The Bad News for Women In Engineering

However, the positives shouldn’t let us forget that only 15% of engineering undergraduates in the UK are women.

This compares poorly with developing countries. In India over 30% of engineering students are women.

Worse still the proportion of younger women studying engineering and physics has not increased since 2012. Women account for a dismal 6.8% of Engineering apprenticeships, and only 1.9% of Construction Skills start programmes. This must change.

Currently, the UK percentage of female engineering professionals is only 10%. We are lagging well behind other Europen nations like Latvia and Bulgaria. Cyprus now boasts a 30% female engineering workforce!

Bringing more women into Engineering is essential. Enabling women to meet their full potential in work could add as much as £20 trillion to annual GDP in 2025 and will help tackle the 40,000 yearly shortfalls of STEM-skilled workers in Britain.

Discover More Engineering Stats at

Explore some of our recent posts about the role of Women in Engineering