Currently, there is a general skills shortage of engineers, and this is made worse by the disproportionate amount of men and women in the industry. Reportedly, only 6% of engineers in the UK are female despite evidence showing that women actually achieve better grades in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) subjects.
Interestingly, however, civil engineering jobs in Cumbria and the rest of the UK are increasingly being undertaken by women, despite otherwise low levels of women in engineering. Studies show that around 15% of civil engineers are women, demonstrating a notable increase in comparison to other disciplines.
With the recent National Women in Engineering Day hitting the headlines across the UK, it is an interesting time to look at the gender divide in engineering, as the Women’s Engineering Society celebrates its 95th anniversary.
Arguably due to perceptions of engineering being a man’s role, the gender divide in the industry means that it misses out on the many positives of having a diverse workforce. Professions with a range of different people from a range of different backgrounds benefit from the perspectives brought to the table that may otherwise be neglected.
Evidently, therefore, it is vital to the aims of such groups as the Women’s Engineering Society to ascertain what it is about civil engineering jobs in Cumbria and the UK that attract women to the roles. If we can discover this, then we can potentially figure out how to attract women to other areas of engineering. This will, in turn, help us solve the current engineering skills shortage that is threatening to cost our economy up to £27bn a year.
One theory suggested by Lani Tan, a project field engineer at Bechtel, is that women are attracted to civil engineering as it is easy to see the direct impact that the area has on the community. On the matter, she said “Water supply and sanitation mean better health; building schools means better education; better transportation links improve quality of life, etc. I think this is appealing to both women and girls. Other disciplines may not be perceived to be directly helping people in this way.”
If you feel like civil engineering jobs in Cumbria are ideal for you, regardless of whether you are male or female, visit Recruitment Cumbria today.