EngineeringUK has published a research briefing on female underrepresentation in the industry. Despite efforts to address the imbalance, just 12% of those working in engineering are female. This disparity is largely due to girls dropping out of the educational pipeline at every decision point, despite generally performing better than boys in STEM subjects at school.
Gender disparity in engineering builds on the data and analysis contained within the Engineering UK 2018 state of engineering report and gives an overview of female progression along the STEM skills pipeline through education as well as women in the engineering workforce. It examines the underlying reasons for female underrepresentation and looks at both the business case for and the barriers to getting more women in the industry.
Evidence shows gender differences in understanding of and interest in engineering as well as perceptions of self-efficacy and identity are likely to be key factors when making subject and career choices. Girls are not only less knowledgeable about engineering and how to become an engineer, but also less likely to seek careers advice from others.
Only 60% of girls aged 11 to 14 think they could become an engineer if they wanted to, compared to 72% of boys. This drops to 53% in the 16 to 19 age range, where only a quarter of girls say they would ever consider a career in engineering.
The Gender disparity in engineering briefing contains inputs from Cummins, UCL and the Royal Academy of Engineering.