To mark this year’s International Women in Engineering Day (June 23), young women across the UK are being called on to meet the ongoing challenges that both the sector and UK now face.
More than 90% of people achieving STEM apprenticeships are male. Despite positive increases in the number of women choosing vocational pathways, corresponding increases in the number of men means the disparity is being maintained.
Overall, just 12.4% of the UK engineering workforce is female. There are signs of improvement, however.
The proportion of women joining the sector as apprentices may be 7.5% , but women accounted for almost 10% of the 2019/20 intake at Make UK’s Technology Hub in Aston, Birmingham.
Chair of Make UK, Dame Judith commented: “2020 has demonstrated to us all, more than ever before, the need for talented people to address the challenges we face in engineering, manufacturing and in every aspect of how we live our lives.
“Solutions to some of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced require diverse and inclusive teams – women and men from all backgrounds. Young people who really want to make a difference in the world choose engineering.
“Make UK’s centre at Aston is a shining example of diverse and inclusive groups working together to shape the future. More than ever before your talent and your passion is needed in manufacturing.”
Vicky Stanislavska, a Make UK apprentice with brake and clutch manufacturer, Alcon, added: “I decided to go into engineering because I believe that there are so many opportunities in this field, because of my interest in cars, and I wanted an opportunity to work in the automotive industry.
“I also had a passion for art, so design engineering was a logical solution to combine both interests. Places will always need engineers and there are so many jobs which women would enjoy.”
Evie Hammond, who is in her third year as a Severn Trent engineering apprentice, spent her first year of studies at Make UK’s Technology Hub.
Evia commented: “Not only have I gained on-the-job experience, but I have also gained the same academic achievements of someone that went to university to do a similar course. I definitely made the right decision!”