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National Women In Engineering Day – Why You Should Think About Careers In Engineering

23 Jun 2016

Did you know that 23rd June is National Women In Engineering Day? Yes, National Women In Engineering Day is all about promoting the exciting world of engineering to females with the aim of trying to encourage more girls and women to consider this huge and varied field as a future career.

Women In Engineering

Why does National Women In Engineering Day exist and why, in particular, are women and girls being targeted? Well, the answer to that is very simple: There are not enough females out there taking this route. Especially in the United Kingdom, this is a particular problem as there are fewer girls and women in engineering than in any other country in Europe, meaning the nation has a skills shortage across the whole field. It is also true that there needs to be more males undertaking engineering qualifications and careers, too, but the problem is particularly acute amongst females.

What Is National Women In Engineering Day?

So, with all of this in mind, National Women In Engineering Day is all about celebrating the many types of engineering jobs and careers out there and also celebrating the women that are currently working in those types of roles. Well, if these women work in engineering, then why can’t you?

Perhaps you are already doing A-Levels or NVQ or equivalent qualifications in STEM (Science, Technology and Maths) subjects and are considering going to university. National Women In Engineering Day is aimed at promoting engineering to women so that you can think about taking on engineering degrees and the, in the future, doing graduate engineering jobs. If you think this relates to you, then take a look at our dedicated article all about the possibilities with graduate jobs in engineering.

On the other hand, are you thinking about leaving school and going straight into the world of work rather than heading off to university? Well, for the females out there, GCSE results around the United Kingdom show that many of you perform very well in STEM subjects and these subjects are where your strengths lie. National Women In Engineering Day encourages you to think, why not make the most of those strengths by developing your skills via engineering apprenticeships? The possibilities with engineering apprenticeships are immense. If you don’t believe us, why not take a look at our guide to engineering apprenticeships to give yourself some ideas and a taster of what you could be doing in the future.

National Women In Engineering Day is the brainchild of WES (Women’s Engineering Society) which is a charity that was set up in 1919, after the First World War. When the war was over, women who had been working in engineering roles were forced out of their jobs by a law which aimed at reverting the situation back to pre-war days

The Women’s Engineering Society promoted equality for women so that women who wanted to remain in their positions could do so, and, to this day, they work to promote engineering to encourage girls and women like you to enter the engineering professions.

Why Are There So Few Women In Engineering Jobs?

It is a fact that there are very few females entering into engineering careers, whether that is via the university route or the apprenticeship route. So let’s first ask you:

  • Why do you think females are not considering engineering jobs? Perhaps you are reading this right now and you, yourself, haven’t thought about going into the industry – via engineering internships, for example.
  • If you have particular strengths in STEM subjects, why do you think it is that you have decided to take an alternative career path as a female?

Those are the types of questions that researchers are now really looking into and carrying out studies on. With the results, the obvious aim is to get more females to actually consider these professions as viable options for their future. With only 9% of people in engineering careers being female, here are some reasons for the lack of women in engineering in the UK that previous research has found:

  • Many females see engineering careers as a masculine job. They think it’s not a field for women and so automatically dismiss engineering without realising.
  • Some females say they aren’t (or weren’t) given enough careers information at school about the possibilities with engineering jobs. Do you feel this is the case for you? What was your experience? Much more effort is being put into this today so that girls in schools can view engineering as a real option for their future.
  • Some females think it is too late – they can’t go into engineering because they didn’t choose STEM subjects at school or university. Engineering is a huge field and National Women In Engineering Day can show you possibilities where you can work in engineering roles, taking on courses that can develop your untapped strengths.

Women In Engineering – What Are The Advantages For You?

With days like National Women In Engineering Day, the benefits of engineering jobs and careers for females will be highlighted. In the future, it is hoped there will be more sustained advertising that shows engineering as a female friendly profession with the world’s top companies showing female engineers in their roles. Some companies are also looking to do more activities with young people in schools in order to eradicate any gender issues whereby girls might think engineering is ‘just for boys.’

So, if you are reading this and starting to think engineering careers are on your radar, let’s look at some of the benefits and advantages of engineering careers:

  • Variety of engineering careers out there. There are so many possibilities out there or those of you considering engineering. Browse and do your research and you are sure to find an engineering field to really get your teeth into.
  • Job satisfaction. Many people today put job satisfaction above salary when asked about what is important to them in their career. Engineering is all about problem solving and coming up with solutions; knowing your work has made a positive contribution to the way the world operates. The role of engineers in whatever field carry with them the potential to benefit society
  • Career development. There are many possibilities for career development in engineering and you could become part of an elite group of people in the UK who invents a system or finds a solution to a problem that pushes you to the forefront of your field. Further study and experience could soon see you in leadership roles in some of the biggest companies in the world.
  • Potential to work globally. If you are interested in working overseas, many engineering roles could offer this opportunity. Indeed, some engineering roles require you to work overseas on a regular basis.
  • Stand out from the rest of the crowd. Well, we did say there was a lack of women in engineering. National Women In Engineering Day celebrates those women who are working in various engineering roles. Why not be one of the females who starts to plug that gap, celebrate your profession and encourage other females to follow your path.

National Women In Engineering Day 2016 is using the hashtag #NWED2016. Take a look online to see what female engineers and other people involved are sharing and get involved in the conversation, too…

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