Key facts: National Women in Engineering Day 2015

Posted on 22 Jun 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Tuesday June 23 is National Women in Engineering Day – designed to raise the profile and celebrate the achievements of women in engineering. EEF share some key facts and stats about women in engineering and why it is vital for more young women to take advantage of the opportunities presented by engineering today.

According to the EEF:

  1. The number of girls gaining physics GCSE A* to C is now almost equal to the number of boys. But despite this, less than 20% of A-level physics students are girls – in other words they’re dropping the subject while boys carry on.
  2. The most recent stats from Engineering UK show that in 2013 only 14.2% of engineering graduates were female.
  3. While just over half (51%) of female Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates go into STEM roles, this rises to 68% among male STEM graduates.
  4. Only 27% of engineering and science technicians are female.
  5. At less than 10%, the UK has one of the lowest number of female engineers in Europe.
  6. The average pay for an engineering apprentice is £6.50 an hour, significantly higher than in other sectors.
  7. The average graduate starting salary for engineering and technology is £26,636 – a fifth higher than the typical starting salary for other graduates.
  8. Two-thirds of manufacturers plan to recruit an engineering apprentice in the next 12 months, while two-thirds plan to recruit an engineering graduate in the next 3 years.

Verity O’Keefe, senior employment and skills policy advisor at EEF, commented: “Manufacturers need to find almost one million workers by 2020 simply to replace those retiring or leaving industry.

“This is a huge challenge and why, by 2020, we want to see the number of UK engineering graduates increased by 25%, and a 25% increase in the number of apprentices completing engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships.

“Women have a vital role to play in this and we cannot afford to continue to see them excluded from the talent pipeline. This is why it is so important for girls to be encouraged into STEM and into engineering. Engineering is not ‘just for boys’ – it is an open and equal opportunity to enjoy an exciting, rewarding and creative long-term career.

“National Women in Engineering Day is about raising awareness of the opportunities and inspiring more young women to seriously consider a career in engineering. It’s also a timely reminder to Government, industry and educators to ensure that every effort is made to encourage young women to aim high and to nurture their ambitions.”