Women in engineering: year-on-year change remains stubbornly slow

Women in engineering: year-on-year change remains stubbornly slow

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) has today (6 November 2019) released the 2019 Talent 2030 Dashboard tracking educational targets set by Talent 2030, the National Centre’s campaign to encourage more girls into engineering. The 2019 Dashboard shows that growth needs to continue and at a higher rate to meet the targets by 2030.

Across the four groups NCUB tracks, progress at undergraduate study of engineering and technology is the most severely lacking in the UK. Since 2012 there has been only a 0.6 percentage point increase, which sees just 15.2% of the undergraduate population of this field being female. We are woefully and worryingly short of reaching 30% by 2030.

The Dashboard shows that in comparison with the lag at undergraduate level, participation increased at postgraduate level: 26.1% of engineering and technology postgrads in 2019 are women, exceeding the 2030 target of 25%.

Dr Joe Marshall, CEO, National Centre for Universities and Business said:

“The 2030 women in engineering targets are now nearly a decade away and as we near the halfway mark of this project, we are in a position to evaluate the progress so far. Although we have seen some growth in the proportion of women in engineering and technical education over the past seven years, including the number of women in postgraduate education in 2019 already exceeding the 25% target, general progress remains stubbornly slow. Female participation drops off at undergraduate level and the number of professional female engineers remains low at 10.3%, in 2019. We call on universities and business to further collaborate in order to increase female engagement in engineering.”

As part of the drive to increase participation in STEM, the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for girls ran from 2012-2019 and worked with over 2,000 girls across the country, awarding £18,000 in prize money. The initiative has been supported by Rolls-Royce and PepsiCo to tackle gender disparity in the UK STEM sector.

Tim Ingmire, Senior Director of R&D, PepsiCo said:

“PepsiCo is committed to helping to empower women in the workplace, particularly in STEM careers. It’s great to have supported ‘Talent 2030 Engineering Competition for Girls’ and to meet those who represent the future of engineering. While recognising steady progress in attracting female STEM students in the UK, we continue to champion the opportunities for, and contributions by, women in the sector.”

Nicola Swaney, Education Outreach Manager, Rolls-Royce said:

“Rolls-Royce is an enthusiastic supporter of women in STEM and has been delighted to sponsor and welcome the winners of the 2019 ‘Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls’ on visits to Rolls-Royce this year. Female engineering professionals are an integral part of the industry and encouraging young women into STEM education remains a priority.”

Copies of the 2019 Talent 2030 Dashboard are available to download here.

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Calculations in the Talent 2030 Dashboard were based on data from the Joint Council for Qualifications (GCSE and A-Level), the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Undergraduate and Postgraduate) and the Office for National Statistics/NOMIS (Engineering professionals).

Due to data discontinuation for professional engineers in the UK the statistics are now drawn from a new dataset, this section of the dashboard is therefore not comparable to the corresponding section from previous years. All figures have been updated accordingly for 2019.

About the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB)

Inspiring universities and business to work together for sustainable growth and prosperity

As a membership organisation, the National Centre brings together leaders from across higher education and business to tackle issues of shared interest.

The National Centre’s Engineering and Manufacturing Task Force explored the challenge of maintaining the UK manufacturing base as a strong and vital component of the economy. Talent 2030 is a legacy project from the Task Force report ‘Great Expectations’. The Talent 2030 dashboard sets serious targets for girls in engineering education pathways, which the NCUB will monitor from 2012 to 2030. These targets have been developed through our research and are backed by the UK government.

For further information please contact the National Centre on 020 7383 7667.

 

6 November 2019

 

 

 

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