International Women in Engineering Day is an annual event spearheaded by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate women engineers around the world.
Currently, only 24% of the STEM workforce is female and only 16.5% of engineers are women. The sector’s goal is to ensure at least 30% of the STEM workforce is female by 2030. So how can we get there?
Can apprenticeships help?
Apprenticeships at all levels are becoming increasingly popular routes into the engineering industry. Apprentices gain hands-on experience through working in the sector as well as knowledge and qualifications through training. This approach to learning makes apprentices well-rounded employees with advanced practical skills compared to candidates who follow a more theoretical route.
Traditionally, the gender split in STEM-based apprenticeships has followed a similar pattern to STEM careers in general. In 2016/17, women made up only 8% of apprenticeship starters in the sector. This has only improved marginally in the last five years, with 13% of STEM apprenticeships being started by women.
This is likely due to stereotypes of STEM being a largely male-dominated field and a lack of female role models, causing girls to be less engaged in STEM subjects from school. Clearly, to meet the aim of increased gender equality in engineering, businesses must also look at the gender disparity in the uptake of apprenticeships.
Our overarching aim is to increase the uptake of apprenticeships across York, North Yorkshire and East Riding. Through this, we want to support employers with the growth of their businesses and improvement of their sectors.
If you work in the engineering sector and want to increase the number of women in your workforce, we can help. Our expert Apprenticeship Advisers can help you to engage with training providers, recruit apprenticeships, and access fully-funded capacity-building support.
Get in touch today for more information.
Don’t forget to follow the International Women in Engineering Day conversation on social media: @INWED1919 #INWED22.
The Apprenticeship Hub is part funded by the European Social Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, and is delivered in partnership Calderdale College, North Yorkshire County Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.