Women in Engineering 2013


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To help encourage more women into engineering, Atkins led a unique survey in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, Rolls-Royce and BP to ask 300 professional female UK engineers what inspired them to choose a career in engineering and how they feel about their choice.

The result is the ‘Britain’s got talented female engineers’ report which provides fascinating insights, statistics and views which we hope will prove to be a hugely popular tool in inspiring a new generation of female engineers.


Early years
* The research confirmed there was no single age when women engineers developed their interest; very few had been following a single path from an early age

* Many respondents didn’t study physics at school

* Most women engineers (91%) had at least one inspirational teacher.

* Knowing one or more engineers was frequently important. Almost four in ten women engineers had a family connection, most frequently their father, and 11% had a friend who was an engineer

A Perfect Choice
* Over 80 of female engineers are happy in their job

* 98% of women engineers find their job rewarding. Most frequently (80%) this reward came in the shape of the successful projects their work had helped deliver

Myths and Misunderstandings
* Three-quarters believed engineering is still regarded as being ‘a male career’

* Just over two-thirds thought engineering was believed by too many to involve fixing engines

* 43% said they believed engineers were thought to require physical strength 

Need for Awareness
* Seven in eight believed greater awareness was needed of what engineers do

* 77% believed greater awareness of the wide range of careers employing engineering graduates is needed

* Almost two-thirds of women engineers believed that careers advice about engineering is weak

* Over half of the sample (55%) said they believed potential students are being put off by an idea that engineering is ‘too difficult’.

Fixing the future
* Seven-in-ten women engineers said that the advice currently being given about engineering as a career needs improving

* Almost two-thirds (64%) believe there should be greater efforts by recruiters of engineers to provide more work placements for girls to work alongside women engineers

* A majority of 56% wanted to see more provision of women speakers in schools

If you want to know more about working at Atkins please contact http://www.atkinsglobal.com/careers

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Women in Engineering 2013

  1. 1. Welcome Dr. Martin Grant FREng Chief Executive Officer Energy
  2. 2. A startling perspective 2 Engineering graduates in fulltime work 83% 85 82 79 78 76 75 72 72 70 68 67 66 62 62 Graduates in fulltime work / course (ONS 2012) Engineering graduate earnings £769 85 £172 £673 £646 £635 £615 £577 £577 £538 £481 £462 £462 £423 £418 Graduate earnings / course (ONS 2012) Proportion of female engineering graduates 16% 80 76 68 65 62 62 60 58 57 53 49 40 33 29 Proportion of female graduates / course (HESA 2013)
  3. 3. How do we inspire more women? 3 Lots of useful studies have been done: How do we stop this ‘leaky pipeline’? Why don’t girls choose STEM subjects at school? Why are women not becoming engineers? Why are women leaving the profession? BUT… Britain’s got lots of talented and successful female engineers So we asked 300 of them... What inspired you at school? Why did you become an engineer? How happy are you with your career choice? What do you think the industry should do to encourage more women into engineering? The results and stories to emerge are inspirational
  4. 4. Influences during early years 4 Almost 40% had a family connection, most frequently their father, who was an engineer.
  5. 5. Influences during early years 5 Maths29% Physics24% Chemistry8% Geography7% Science6% Design/Technology5% English3% French/German/Spanish2% History2% Art music2% Biology1 Computing/IT1 Classics/RE1 of women had an inspirational teacher 75% 91% …and loved problem solving
  6. 6. So many choices 6 17% 15% 18% 62% 56% 50% 49% 45% 35% 27% Availability of grant funding/sponsorship The good work life balance The school careers adviser suggested it The variety of career options/routes Engineering is a good route to lots of other interesting careers You were offered a place at a university with a strong reputation The good employment opportunities You wanted to do something different from the typical roles proposed for women Good salary prospects A teacher or tutor suggested it to you
  7. 7. A perfect choice 7 And now, how happy are they with their career choice? Either happy or extremely happy with their choice 84% Said they had supportive working environment and co-workers 79% said it is a rewarding career for women98%
  8. 8. A perfect choice 8 80% Successful delivery of a project or projects in which you played a part 72% A new challenge 54% A chance to make a difference 50% My company’s investment in my career 42% Getting chartered 39% An opportunity to travel 28% A training course or coach 26% A mentor pushing me to take a leap of faith 21% A team change
  9. 9. So why aren’t more choosing it? 9 …believed greater awareness was needed of what engineers do 7 in 8 Almost two-thirds of women engineers believed that careers advice about engineering was weak 2/3 …believed greater awareness of the wide range of careers employing engineering graduates 77% …said they believed potential students were being put off by an idea that engineering was ‘too difficult’ 55%
  10. 10. So why aren’t more choosing it? 10 believe engineering is still regarded as a¾ 70% No difference 13% Hinderance Myth 1 But it’s just for boys 17% Help ‘male career’
  11. 11. So why aren’t more choosing it? 11 Myth 2 think engineering is believed by too many to involve⅔ Engineers fix engines A design for steel bridges on ITER – the world's largest nuclear fusion research project “ ” I helped create the Highway Agencies structural data base “ ” I led the concept design for a new city “ ” I've worked on the Olympics for 6 years “ ” Planning a radio network in Kenya “ ” “ ” Designing a water recycling system fixing engines
  12. 12. Fixing the future 12 56% UK-based organisation dedicated to sending women speakers into schools Work experience placements alongside women engineers 64% Primetime TV engineering problem- solving challenge along the lines of Young Apprentice (but not Robot Wars) 38% 70% Better careers information for women engineers for schools 44% Applying the term ‘engineering’ where appropriate in the early years national curriculum (rather than covering with science and technology) More visible female role models 15% Campaign raising awareness of engineers solving problems for developing world and disadvantaged people 42% Quite a number said... “all of the above!”
  13. 13. 13 Thank you Spread the word via #womeninengineering