The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Renewed Focus on Gender Diversity in Engineering Needed, says BESA​

Renewed Focus On Gender Diversity In Engineering Needed, says BESA​
23 June 2020 | Updated 24 June 2020
 

The BESA president has called for a renewed focus on improving gender diversity across engineering to help deliver economic recovery.

“Engineering professions will be crucial to the economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic, we need to power up the sector with the widest possible range of skills; yet we continue to miss a major recruitment opportunity with half of the population,” said Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) President John Norfolk.

BESA is supporting the seventh annual International Women in Engineering Day (INWED20) on 23 June 2020. This global awareness campaign is supported by UNESCO and organised by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES). 

"Unless we can recruit more female engineers, our firms will find it increasingly hard to deliver the social, economic and environmental challenges we all face.”

–John Norfolk

President, BESA

 

#ShapeTheWorld for International Women in Engineering Day

 

The theme for this year’s awareness day is #ShapeTheWorld, with WES putting out a call to hear stories of how engineers shape the world and help make our planet a better, safer, more innovative and exciting place to be.

According to BESA, engineering employers were already reporting a shortfall in recruits pre-COVID-19. The association feels that the sector’s failure to improve its appeal to women and girls will hamper growth.

 

12 Per Cent of UK Engineers are Female

 

Latest statistics from EngineeringUK, a not-for-profit body working with the sector to encourage more young people to take up engineering careers, show that just 12 per cent of UK engineers are female, an improvement on the 9% recorded in 2015. 25 per cent of girls aged 16-18 would consider a career in engineering compared with more than 50 per cent of boys.

Currently, girls and women account for less than 18 per cent of higher apprentices in engineering and manufacturing – and for just 7.4 per cent of all engineering apprentices. Just 22 per cent of students starting A level Physics last year were female.

Yet, studies show that they outperform their male counterparts in all STEM A level subjects apart from Chemistry.

 

BESA Challenges the Wider Built Environment

 

BESA is challenging its members and the wider built environment sector to use this time of change to build on the International Women in Engineering Day campaign.

“It is telling that 46 per cent of girls would consider engineering as a career at age 11-14 – compared with 70 per cent of boys – but that falls to just 25 per cent aged 16-18,” added Norfolk.

“We must all do more as employers to showcase the wonderful opportunities this industry offers to all young adults. Unless we can recruit more female engineers, our firms will find it increasingly hard to deliver the social, economic and environmental challenges we all face.”

 

Women’s Engineering Society


The Women’s Engineering Society is a charity founded towards the end of the First World War, when the women who had worked in technical jobs during the war wanted to continue with the work encountered resistance. A change of law when the war finished meant that women were unable to continue with their engineering jobs, and were unwanted in the technical professions.

The Women’s Engineering Society was set up off the back of this, and they have been working since then to ensure equality for women in this sector. 

Picture: A photograph of a female engineer working at a computer 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 23 June 2020

Share



Related Articles

International Women in Engineering Day – Engineering Heroes

International Women in Engineering Day is an awareness campaign that raises the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities...

 Read Full Article
Apprenticeships in FM – What’s Available?

As new research suggests ambitious job creation targets in the green and clean sector could transform prospects for young people - what apprenticeship opportunities are...

 Read Full Article
Million Pound Fine for Breaching F-Gas Regulations Handed to London Firm

London-based firm IMO Gas Supplies Ltd has been found guilty of seven separate offences all linked to breaches of regulation 31A of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases...

 Read Full Article
WHO Updates Air Quality Guidelines for First Time Since 2005

The World Health Organisation has updated its official air quality guidelines, as air pollution remains one of the greatest environmental risks to health.  The...

 Read Full Article
Prompt Payment Code – Fairness in Supply Chain

It is more important than ever that companies treat their supply chain partners fairly, especially when it comes to payment, according to the Building Engineering...

 Read Full Article
ThisWeekinFM Partners With BESA National Conference

ThisWeekinFM is to be the official media partner for BESA's 2021 National Conference. The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has confirmed that...

 Read Full Article
Mace and Amey to Tackle Gender Inequality in Construction

Two industry leaders from Mace and Amey have been appointed to spearhead a campaign to challenge gender inequality in the construction sector. Amanda Fisher,...

 Read Full Article
BESA Backs Fast Tracking of Indoor Environment Quality Measurement Standard

The Building Engineering Services Association has praised the British Standards Institute for speeding up the development of a new standard for measuring indoor...

 Read Full Article
Only 36% of Construction Workers Pay Into a Pension

Department for Work and Pensions figures show that only 797,000 employees out of a total industry workforce of 2.2 million were paying into any kind of...

 Read Full Article
BESA to Help Cut Red Tape for Contractors

The Building Engineering Services Association has become the first trade body to adopt a new industry agreed prequalification standard that promises to cut expensive and...

 Read Full Article