How Women Are Taking the Engineering Industry by Storm?

For many years, engineering is often seen as a strictly “male” profession in spite of many historic and significant female contributors to the industry. We have made mention of a few in previous blogs, but even the 21st century, women are still very much the minority in this sector.

Even so, the few prominent female figures who’ve made a name for themselves have taken the industry by storm and continue to do so. Here’s why they’ve made such great changes and why we need more female figures in the industry.

Famous Female Engineers

To begin with, let’s talk about a few famous female engineers who have made a significant impact on engineering and society in general:

  • Henrietta Vansittart, developer of the propellers for the ocean liner, the Lusitania.
  • Hertha Ayrton, the award-winning engineer who was famous researching Electric Arcs.
  • Dame Caroline Haslett, the electrical engineer created many electrical domestic devices to help free women from household chores.
  • Beatrice Shilling, an aeronautical engineer who invented a type of metal washer to prevent aircraft stalling while undertaking tactical manoeuvres.
  • Mary Fergusson OBE, the civil engineer who worked on many large projects in Scotland, the most well known being the River Leven Purification Scheme.
  • Ailie MacAdam, the brains behind the refurb of St Pancras International station, as well as plenty of other Crossrail projects.

And that’s just to name a few! Without these contributions, many of the inventions and developments listed above would not have come into existence. In short, we have a lot to thank the female engineers for.

Why the Shortage?

So, given how many women there are in the world of engineering who have proven themselves more than capable, why are do they only make up 11% of the UK’s engineering sector? The problem, many experts agree, comes from a misconception on what engineering actually involves.

The CEO of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), Kristen Bodley, claims that the perception of engineering being an uncreative and male-oriented profession is largely to blame. If young girls knew how much engineering could change society, she believes that there would be more women entering the field.

Aside from this, there is a more strategic reason to recruit more women in engineering. The industry is currently facing a shortage and it is estimated that up to 60,000 engineers are needed to meet demand. Encouraging more girls to take on engineering as a career would solve this problem significantly.

Become an Engineer

If you’re interested in a fulfilling career as an engineer, why not take a look at our Apprenticeship page at Gloucestershire Engineer Training? We can help get you started on the right path in becoming a successful candidate for the engineering industry!