Why is Engineering So Male Dominated?

It’s no secret that engineering in the UK is hugely male dominated and there are very little women in the industry.

Women are under-represented in the engineering industry, which is reason to believe why the number of women entering the profession hasn’t changed much in the last ten years. In fact, the number of women in an engineering career in the UK is lower than anywhere else in Europe and sits at around 6%.

There are reasons why engineering may appear to be such a male dominated industry. For example, the number of women who are retiring from engineering could be outweighing the number entering the profession. Another suggestion is the attempts to inspire women to pursue an engineering career are flawed, and thus the figure of those joining the profession remains low.

Whilst some women are joining the engineering industry, many tend to leave for other career paths. A new study has suggested that negative group dynamics during team-based projects are making the industry seem less appealing and driving women to leave.

The same study by MIT News also suggested that women feel disregarded during team-based educational activities, where more opportunities are generated for men to work on challenging problems and women are side-lined to routine tasks or managerial duties.

Many women who enter the engineering industry have high expectations for their profession and expect to make an impact to society. These group dynamic problems can crop up throughout an engineers training, be it university, apprenticeships or college. These are key points in an engineer’s education, and quickly teach women to think they are not cut out for an engineering career path, though this is simply not the case.

A lot more women obtain engineering degrees compared to those working in the industry. Many explanations have been offered, including lack of mentorship, lack of confidence and inability to balance work and family life.

If you’re a woman looking to obtain a career in the engineering industry- don’t let this put you off, we recently wrote another blog post on why the world needs more engineers.

We know gender equality is important within all industries, especially in engineering. If you are a young man or woman who would like to further your engineering career through an apprenticeship, get in touch with a member of the team by calling 01452 423461 or via our contact page.