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Female engineers find job rewarding

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A survey of over 300 UK female engineers by Atkins has revealed that over 80% are happy with their career choice and 98% find their job rewarding. The survey was carried out in partnership with BP, Rolls Royce and the Royal Academy of Engineering. It asked female engineers what inspires them and how they think companies can work to attract more females in the engineering in the future.

Key findings

  • 79% of respondents said that their colleagues and employers play an important role in helping them fit their career alongside family life and personal interests.
  • 75% still regard engineering as a male career but 70% said being a woman makes no difference when applying for jobs. A further 17% said being female actually helped.
  • 91% of respondents said an inspirational teacher was the reason why they chose an engineering career, and not always a physics teacher.
  • 75% were interested in fixing things and problem solving from an early age.
  • 7 out of 8 respondents believe greater awareness of what engineers do is needed.

Encouragement is needed

‘Encouraging more girls and women into engineering is vital for the future growth of the British economy and the sustainability of many British companies. There have been many studies in to why girls don’t choose STEM subjects at school but we haven’t seen any focused on what inspires women who do choose a path to engineering, either at school or later. These survey results show that engineering is in fact an extremely rewarding career choice for women. However, it also shows that a lack of understanding, awareness and inspiration prohibits girls considering an engineering career, which we in industry must work together to address,’ said Martin Grant, chief executive of Atkins’ energy business.

‘The results of this survey give us perfect material to use in the drive to encourage more girls, young women and even boys to choose STEM subjects, because they can see how satisfied it makes people. Not only does engineering offer a huge variety of career choices, but these jobs are rewarding and fulfilling, and they offer flexibility, and a work/life balance, which can’t be said of many well paid careers. The task now is for industry and education to work together to sell these messages to the next generation of young engineers,’ said Dr Shini Somara, British Engineer and TV presenter.

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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