Tag: 30% club

Women don’t talk Engineering

If the world of public speaking is an indicator of public interests then women and engineering just don’t mix.

Women Speakers has a roster of guest speakers upon which to call. 293 highly articulate women able to present and discuss diverse subjects across 109 categories –  from art and history to gardening, education, fashion, health, business etc.  Yet nowhere does an engineer or engineering feature.

Granted there are commentators with a science background but their focus tends to be around planet earth’s issues such as ecology and global warming.

We, in the developed world, are surrounded by technology and engineering that just a few generations ago would have been inconceivable. Even the future thinkers of your great, great grandparent’s era could not have imagined the world in which many of us live today be it cooking a meal, travel, shopping, being entertained or recovering in hospital –  I could go on. read more

Young Women who Love Engineering

Engineering envelops every aspect of our lives, yet here in Britain it is much undervalued by a huge percentage of the population. According to a study by the Robert Bosch Group only 23% of the young think Engineering is of any importance to our economy.

So why aren’t the young, and girls in particular, being attracted into Engineering? Last year only 400 girls completed engineering apprenticeships, whilst 58,600 studied Health and Social Care.

The image of engineers as greasy men in dungarees or hardhats, faced with factory closures has been hard to shrug off. It has prejudiced the views of many parents and teachers in guiding teenagers away from careers in engineering. read more

David Cameron, a rivet, and the casino culture

The banking fraternity’s casino culture destroyed any true balance of reward for effort. It created a get rich culture that imploded.

In this humorous yet serious clip Stephen Bayley argues that we must return to a society that understands and values engineering and manufacturing.

Engineering is grounded in a respect for human skills. Engineering underpins every aspect of our day to day lives, yet as a nation we seem to take it for granted.

Engineering creates the products we can export to pay for our enormous national debt. The nation owes a staggering £40,840 for every employed person in the UK.

Innovative engineering offers the opportunity of new ideas that will benefit society as a whole. If we do not invest in our future we are passing on an enormous financial liability to the next generation. read more

An Engineer in VOGUE

Excellent article about Jo da Silva, a civil engineer at Arup, in the latest issue of Vogue.

If engineering is to attract greater numbers of women into the fold it needs more articles like this to break down the preconceptions of what engineering is about.

Glamorous, intelligent, articulate and talented female engineers like da Silva are pretty rare at the moment – but they need not be. Articles like this demonstrate the attraction of the profession and how women can play their part without in any way compromising their femininity, and role as a mother.

Jo de Silva is not alone; there are other “engineering heroines” out there. read more

A New President

downloadMy congratulations  to Dame Ann Dowling on becoming the first female president of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

I concur with her that there is no reason why there shouldn’t be more women in Engineering, but am slightly worried that she can’t see why there aren’t.

One of the key reasons is that our engineering community is very poor at communicating what they do and why they do it to the general public. With the exception of Dyson, JCB, Rolls-Royce, JLR the vast majority of our engineering is high-tech and B2B and lies well outside the day-to-day experiences of teenagers, parents and career advisors. read more

Lack of Female Role models in Engineering

Belinda Parmar cites the lack of female engineering role models in her upbringing.

Whilst I understand her point the truth is that here in the UK there is lack of role models, be they male or female, for engineering and technology. If you were to ask the man or woman in the street ‘How many UK engineering businesses you can name?’ – you’d be lucky if they knew 2 or 3.

Likewise, ‘How many present day engineers can you name?’  You might get James Dyson and there it would stop. 

I can guarantee they would know far more chefs!

Then there’s the fact that a large slice of UK engineering is focused on military and defence; not exactly the industries to attract thousands of women. read more

Attracting Women into Engineering

Robert Lea in The Times 

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BAE  sponsors a think tank to try to puzzle out why few women, and in particular ethnic minority women venture into engineering.

Sadly it’s always the same big companies BAE, JCB, Rolls Royce, Land Rover etc that get quoted whilst the real employment opportunities lie in the other 400,00 + small to medium British engineering companies.

The big problem for the majority of these SMEs is that they do not present a public face which is attractive to  women in general, whatever their ethnic background.  These companies tend to be hardnosed, data driven, and the idea of an image which is employee friendly hasn’t yet arrived. read more

Are we Really Surprised only 400 girls chose Engineering?

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Rosemary Bennett Social Affairs Editor

Efforts to get women into better jobs must begin at primary school, accord­ing to MPs who claim that careers advice is failing to break down persistent work segregation.

While consider­able government energy had gone into addressing the absence of women in the boardroom, little had been done to tackle the dearth of girls taking up apprenticeships in industry and science.

Only 1,200 girls were enrolled in IT apprenticeships last year and just  400 in engineering courses.  Yet there were 58,600 girls learning to be health and social care workers. read more

Engineering must Find its Voice

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 24 may 2013 – comment by barrie weaver

Even the staunchest readers of Engineer might be surprised to know that UK engineering businesses turned over some £1.06 trillion in the year ending March 2011. That’s three times the size of the retail sector or 23.9% of the turnover of all UK enterprises.

Now I admit I’m using engineering in its broadest sense but for the purpose of my discussion a more detailed definition isn’t too relevant.

Read more: http://www.theengineer.co.uk/channels/skills-and-careers/opinion/engineering-must-find-its-voice/1016381.article#ixzz2fnbVQvxz read more

Even the US has Noticed

UK engineering  suffers a chronic image problem

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by Stephen Castle New York Times 3 February 2013

Engineering has never been truly prestigious in Britain, where traditionally many of the best brains have opted for careers in law, medicine, the civil service or the news media. Add to that the more recent lure of London’s financial sector, which, despite recent layoffs, still offers lavish salaries and bonuses.

It is little wonder that British manufacturing struggles to compete for the country’s most capable young people.

Though British design engineers in their early 30s can earn £35,000 to £45,000 a year — a decent salary in the northeast — the sector suffers from a chronic image problem. read more