“Girls aged between 11 and 19 were more likely than boys to say that engineering was “dirty, greasy or messy” and were more likely than boys to report low levels of self-efficacy in the subject than boys, according to EngineeringUK’s Engineering Brand Monitor.4.57”
From an early age, girls are often discouraged from engineering. Gender stereotypes as to what a ‘male profession’ and ‘female profession’ is, still exist and they can have an impact on young girls. These stereotypes can then affect whether or not they go on to study STEM subjects at higher education.
Typically young women do not often opt for STEM-based subjects but that is slowly starting to change: “It is promising that the 2018 to 2019 figures for female entrants into engineering and technology HE are the highest on record, which represents an increase of 4.8 percentage points since 2010 to 2011.”
Even though 4.8% isn’t a massive figure, it is representative of the shift that is beginning to happen. It is representative of a positive change in which young women are beginning to pursue their engineering passions.
Slowly but surely, the number of women working in engineering is also increasing: “There are now over 50,000 women in engineering professional roles – almost double the number 10 years ago (2009)”. Again, this isn’t a significant numerical increase but it is a step in the right direction. As more women enter the engineering workforce, they help to increase representation and signal to the next generation of women that there is a place for them in engineering.
One of our new apprentices, Rachel, had a few words to share on her experience of being a woman in engineering so far:
“My overall experience in engineering has been really good so far. I got into engineering mainly from my dad who is an engineer. He suggested that I should do some work experience in engineering, as at the time I didn’t know what I wanted to do after leaving school at 16 and was interested in maths and science. During my work experience, I met another female engineer apprentice and that was mainly when I decided to go down the engineering route. My experience at Don Valley so far has been really good as everyone is willing to help with university and engineering work. Working at DVE has opened up my eyes to a different world I didn’t know existed. The amount of effort and enthusiasm that goes on behind the scenes of the large screens and conveyors, is truly inspirational. Overall I can not fault the route I have chosen or Don Valley, as I absolutely love it.”
DVE is committed to bridging the gender gap in engineering and is happy to see that our female colleagues are enjoying their time here.