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New diversity campaign

SMEs targeted in push for more women in engineering

women female engineeer (Institute of Engineering and Technology)

Women wanted: campaign will call for greater diversity


Engineering bodies Scottish Engineering and Semta along with the gender equality organisation Equate Scotland, are launching a new push to encourage women to study and work in engineering.

Currently only 18% of workers in engineering or architectural activities are women and just 16% of students studying degrees in engineering and technology are female.

The campaign will target small and medium size employers and provide employers with specialist training to create greater diversity.

Talat Yaqoob, director of Equate Scotland said: “This project is an opportunity to transform the engineering sector into a place more women are enthusiastic about working in, as well as challenging and changing exclusionary work practices.

“We want girls to see their future in this sector, but to do that we need employers to work with us on changing the perceptions of engineering and ensure that women who are currently working in the sector have positive experiences to share.

“Scotland needs more STEM skills and needs more qualified engineers, women should be seen and invested in as a valued solution to the skills shortage.”

Paul Sheerin

Paul Sheerin: businesses ‘losing out’ (pic: Terry Murden DB Media Services)


Paul Sheerin, chief executive of Scottish Engineering added: “Across Engineering and Manufacturing in Scotland, businesses recognise that we continue to lose out on achieving our fair share of 50% of the smartest people available to our industry, with the consequential detriment to our skills pool.

“There are many ways we need to work to improve that balance, but we believe this initiative is one of the key drivers to making working in Engineering and Manufacturing more attractive to all potential candidates.”

Ann Watson, chief executive, Semta Group said: “Females as a group, are grossly underrepresented but hold all of the skills and attributes needed to have a successful career in engineering, therefore we wish to educate, making the sector more inviting than ever.”

Jamie Hepburn, Business, Fair Work and Skills Minister, said: “We want to inspire everyone to study STEM subjects. We particularly want to tackle occupational segregation in the STEM sector by encouraging more women and girls to consider the opportunities a career in engineering can offer.”

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