UK public backs engineering as good career choice for women

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A new public survey by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has found that 78% of the public think engineering would be a good career choice for a woman, compared to just 4% who said it was not.

The more than 2,000-strong survey, commissioned to coincide with International Women’s Day, found that 86% of respondents would support their school-aged daughter if she decided to become an engineer.

The poll found strong support (78%) for more engineering to be included in the school curriculum, while 54% of people said engineering is as prestigious a profession as law, medicine or accountancy.

Dr Helen Meese, Head of Engineering in Society, IMechE.
Dr Helen Meese, head of healthcare, IMechE.

“Currently just 6% of UK engineers are female, but the results of this survey are encouraging and show that there is appetite for change. On International Women’s Day we want to celebrate the huge achievements of female engineers and to call on more women to consider a career in engineering.

“Engineering opens doors to hugely creative and rewarding career paths, from creating the next generation of greener, more efficient technologies, to developing life-saving procedures used in hospitals.

Meese explained: “According to these results, 78% of the public would like more engineering to be included in the school curriculum.

“We think it is vital that in addition to learning about volcanoes and photosynthesis, children are also taught about the manufactured world and understand the principles of objects, such as a phone touchscreen or a dialysis machine.

You can download a copy of the full results by clicking here.

“This survey shows strong public support for women in engineering, and we hope that by making children aware of the variety of ways engineering impacts our day-to-day lives that we will be able to inspire more children and girls to take up engineering.”