To celebrate National Women in Engineering Day, we've a guest blog from Ann Watson, Chief Executive of Semta
This time last year, my rallying cry was to “keep up this momentum so that, in a year's time, we have even more women in engineering to celebrate”. It is, once again, International Women in Engineering Day today – and although we remain stuck at just nine per cent of the sector’s workforce being female, there is nonetheless reason to remain upbeat and hopeful.
We all, as a sector, know we need to boost the numbers of women in engineering if we’re to beat the upcoming skills crisis. We cannot hope to draw the estimated 1.8 million new entrants to the sector from an exclusively male talent pool, and nor should we want to do so either, as to do so would be to miss out on not just the talent of the women who could go on to become great engineers, but also their perspectives on the sector. The engineering sector is reaching out to girls and women – we have the social media-based Nine Percent Is Not Enough campaign, individual employers are doing what they can to build a more diverse and inclusive sector (e.g. Rolls-Royce’s 50:50 gender balance for work experience programmes), and today Semta, the ICE and the WISE campaign launch a diversity toolkit for STEM apprenticeships.