Shop cart

Welcome

Press release

More action needed to boost number of women engineering academics

06 February 2014


Universities must do more to retain women in scientific careers, according to a new report published today. The House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee Report on Women in Scientific Careers makes recommendations to attract and retain more female STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) academics.

The UK needs to recruit hundreds of thousands of engineers over the next few years, which will require talented engineering academics both to equip these engineers with the right skills but also to conduct important research and development activities. The quota of women engineers and women engineering academics remains alarmingly low.

IET Director, Michelle Richmond, said: “The report highlights the gulf between senior female professors and their male counterparts.  Figures from Engineering UK show that Engineering and Technology has the worst gender diversity of all disciplines with just 17.2 per cent of female academics – a truly shocking statistic.

“It is important to support women throughout academic life and both employers and institutions can play a key role in this.

“Confidence and recognition are also key motivators for women, which is why the IET highlights the achievements of women in engineering through its popular Young Women Engineer of the Year Awards and IET Women’s Network events and workshops to develop skills.

“Academia must be proactive too, especially in marketing their jobs to women. The best practice employers show creative ways of reaching out to women in terms of job adverts and flexible working patterns, and the results have been very positive but much more needs to be done to reverse this huge gender disparity.”

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912
Email: rbeahan@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest organisations for engineers and technicians.  We have nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries around the world.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world. We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community, supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society.
  • The IET is the Professional Home for Life® for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of Essential Engineering Intelligence® and thought leadership.