It’s a well-known fact that there are proportionally less women in Industry related jobs in areas such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). There is also a skills shortage in these areas.
With Britain having the lowest rate of women in engineering jobs in Europe – less than one in ten of engineering employees are women – it raises the question of why there are so few women in the industry. Since engineering jobs in Cumbria are widely available, and many companies are in fact in need of employees, it is a wonder that women are so uninvolved.
Why is this?
Firstly, many people view the industry as male – ‘for men’. Young women who hold this view may feel intimidated by an industry that they don’t feel part of and thus may not try to involve themselves in it. This is furthered when teachers and parents also hold this view, as it could lead to a lack of support for young women who would suit a career in engineering. The support and guidance of teachers and parents is important for young women throughout their education, and so changing the views of teachers and parents will provide more help and guidance for young women suited to engineering. Hopefully, providing more help and guidance for those women would encourage them to pursue engineering jobs in Cumbria.
Similarly, it may be the case that there aren’t enough female role models in the engineering industry. Having female engineers to aspire to can be influential to young women as it can make the role seem appealing and more achievable. Young women who may previously have thought the role of engineer was for men only, and perhaps out of their reach, might benefit from having a role model to challenge those beliefs. In theory, the more women who take on engineering jobs in Cumbria, the more role models young women will have in the industry. This would hopefully in turn encourage more women to become engineers and help solve the skills shortage.
Changing the way jobs are advertised and changing what people think engineering ‘is’ may also prove essential for increasing numbers of women in engineering professions and increasing numbers of women who have engineering jobs in Cumbria. Many women may be put off by advertisements that use language aimed at men, and may find that advertisements that focus more on what women prefer in a job are more appealing. Many women may also be put off by the stereotypical view of what an engineering career involves – lots of dirt, oil and heavy lifting. Raising awareness of the multitude of engineering jobs that do not involve dirt, oil and heavy lifting – or are much less hands on – may prove to attract more young women to the world of engineering.
All in all, to solve the skills shortage it seems common sense to involve as many young people as possible and changing perceptions of women is one way of achieving this goal. For more information on engineering jobs in Cumbria visit Recruitment Cumbria.