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Women in engineering: 5 stats you need to know

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F​or International Women’s Day 2022, we’ve taken a deep-dive into the subject of women in engineering. We wanted to try to understand how many female engineers there currently are and how this number has changed over time.

Here are 5 things we discovered:

1. How many female engineers are there in the UK?

According to Engineering UK, there were 936,000 women working in engineering roles in 2021, equating to 16.5% of the total engineering workforce.

This means there are now an extra 374,000 women working in engineering roles compared to in 2010.

It’s also good to know that this isn’t just as a result of the overall number of engineering jobs rising (from 5.3 million in 2010 to 5.6 million in 2021) but there is an actual overall % rise in the amount of women workingin engineering roles – increasing from 10.5% (2010) to 16.5% (2021).

2. Are female engineers paid the same as male engineers?

Disappointingly not according to research conducted in 2020 by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

This research discovered that female engineers earn around 11 per cent less on average than their male counterparts.

Rather than this being an indicator that men and women are paid differently for doing the same job, it’s more a case that less females are present in senior or higher paid roles.

3. Are women working in engineering staying in the industry?

The above agrees with the findings in the report By the Royal Academy of Engineering that revealed that ’57 per cent of female engineers drop off the register of professional engineers by the age of 35, compared to just 17 per cent of their male counterparts.’

As Victoria Atkins, Minister for Women, commented: “This… is startling… and shows there are workplace factors that need to be addressed.”

More must be done in order to retain women in engineering roles. We hear a lot about the shortage of engineers in the UK so focusing on retaining and empowering women in these roles is extremely important to close this gap.

4. What are we seeing at Jonathan Lee Recruitment?

Our web stats show that for the full year 2016, 25% of visitors to our website were female.

This has increased gradually each year to 30% for 2021.

This positive increase indicates that more women are looking for jobs in the engineering, manufacturing, and advanced technology marketplace.

Engineering jobs at Jonathan Lee block

5. What is the outlook for future female engineers?

The figures compiled by STEM women show that there is a slight rise in the amount of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) university courses and occupations – From 25% in 2015 to 26% in 2019.

This 1% rise is mirrored in the amount of females taking Engineering and Tech courses in 2015 compared to 2019 –15% in 2015 to 16% in 2019.

It’s interesting to note that the number of women undertaking engineering courses in 2019 is identical to the amount of women in the workplace in 2021 – 16%.

How can we improve these figures?

All these figures point to progress, albeit at a slow pace.

It is good to see that there are more female engineers in the marketplace and more females in STEM education but as Victoria Atkins says the disparity between 57% of female engineers dropping out of the industry by the age of 35 points to issues in the workplace and a need to #BreakTheBias.

What we are doing at Jonathan Lee

At Jonathan Lee Recruitment we are committed to supporting equality and diversity throughout the recruitment process; from start to finish.

We pledge to support and inspire women to achieve their potential; both within our own business, and also in supporting our candidates.

International Women’s Day 2022

This year’s theme is #breakthebias. In the words of the International Women’s Day website

‘Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

For more information about International Women’s Day 2022 visit internationalwomensday.com


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