Siemens targets gender parity to increase women in engineering

Siemens is aiming for gender parity in its Early Careers recruitment to increase the number of women in engineering.

Latest figures from its core businesses show 43% of those enrolled on Siemens’ graduate programmes and 36% on its apprenticeship schemes are female. The company is now targeting 50/50 gender parity in Early Careers recruitment by 2025 as part of its drive to build an innovative and diverse culture.

Announcing this goal on International Women in Engineering Day, (23rd June) Joanne Gogerly, Head of Siemens Professional Education UK and North West Europe, said: “The digital revolution in industry offers an opportunity to build a better gender balance in engineering and technology companies like Siemens.

“We are driving this change by making Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) a core focus to enable women to succeed in every kind of role from management and manufacturing to projects, sales and service.

The UK still languishes amongst the lowest when it comes to the percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, yet industry needs the talent, skills and experience of women more than ever.”

To play its part in bridging the gender gap by attracting more women in to engineering roles, Siemens want to:

  • Use inclusive language in recruitment advertising.
  • Use more diverse recruitment platforms.
  • Share more of the inspirational stories of women in the company.
  • Bust a few myths about modern engineering.

For Siemens’ current crop of young talent, the challenges caused by the pandemic have only strengthened their resolve and commitment to engineering and becoming STEM role models for the next generation.

Natalie Gristwood

Natalie joined the graduate programme and is now an Industrial Security Engineer where she supports Siemens’ customers in assessing and improving cybersecurity at their plants.

“I was always good at mathematics and physics, but I didn’t realise until I was in Sixth Form and attended a careers fair that I wanted to pursue engineering. Now there’s no looking back. I enjoy my work and I have had some interesting experiences, especially as there’s been a thrust in my line of work during the pandemic.

When the first lockdown was announced and organisations embraced remote working, there was a spike in cyber-attacks by something like 80%. Our department came under the spotlight and despite travel restrictions we conducted security assessments and worked efficiently to resolve any cyber threats.”

Olivia Kelly

Olivia works as a Software Engineer at Siemens. The 26-year-old has been involved in a variety of hackathons including last year’s record-breaking ventilator challenge, which enabled the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium to achieve its target of producing 13,500 medical devices in just 12 weeks, and, more recently, used technology like Siemens NX and digital twin to design a car manufacturer’s new factory.

“These hackathons help reiterate that even though we would think the world is on fire, essentially that we could still do things and even be more creative. In addition to our day-to-day tasks we have been working on all these exciting projects that promote sustainability.”

Sian Court

IT Degree Apprentice Sian, is making her mark having scooped two awards early in her career with Siemens: RateMyApprenticeship’s 2019 Outstanding Degree Apprentice (Level 6 or 7) and Make UK’s 2020 Business Apprentice of the Year: Rising Star.

She said: “Success hasn’t come so easy. Before I joined Siemens I completed a year’s apprenticeship at a doctor’s surgery but couldn’t find a job so had to look for something else. By chance I met a colleague from a work experience at Siemens’ Congleton factory who advised on the new intake for apprenticeships. I applied immediately and here I am and never looking back as I’m doing what I most enjoy.

“Working from home also opened doors for some unusual new experiences for me. I joined the Mental Health First Aid team, and our role was to support employees amid the pressures of working remotely whilst looking after their kids and managing home learning.”

Helen Brindley

Inspired to pursue engineering by her brother and godmother, who are both aeronautical and mechanical engineers respectively, Helen completed her apprenticeship degree programme last year and is now a Field Technician at Siemens.

“I like to roll my sleeves and get my hands dirty actually working on machinery and fixing it,” she explained. “The last 18 months have been an eye-opening experience and showed how important engineering is.

“Plants can lose thousands of pounds an hour in shutdowns. It is a great feeling of satisfaction and purpose getting that call in the middle of the night to fix a machine in a plant and see the impact of your work.”

Siemens is a member of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ADCN). Find out more about this UK government initiative here.

For more from The Manufacturer, check out our Podcast from earlier in the year on Women in Manufacturing.


Images courtesy of Siemens