• Question: was it harder to get a job as engineer because most people would say its a mans job

    Asked by mollyandrebecca to Sarah, Masha, Dominique on 13 Nov 2016. This question was also asked by IfyO, K.Bahra, Saffie.
    • Photo: Sarah Hunt

      Sarah Hunt answered on 13 Nov 2016:

      No, absolutely not! It’s widely recognised that we need more diversity in engineering which means more women, more ethnic minorities and more equality.

      One of the reasons diversity is so important is that, if engineering is only open to men, then companies are only choosing engineers from half the population of people in the world. The companies are therefore missing out on the best engineers from the other half of the population, the females. And there are a lot of tricky problems in the world that need solved by the best engineers. It makes commercial sense for things to be equal.

      Legally, companies in the UK are not allowed to discriminate (or in other words make it harder) for people on the grounds of: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. So, if you do find it hard to get a job because you are female, it is illegal!

      The Royal Academy of Engineering sponsors many projects around the UK to improve diversity and show everyone that it’s not just for men. There are 22 streams of work going on in the Academy to quantitatively (so it can be measured) make a change. So hopefully things will improve in the next 10 years, and if you decide to become an engineer, the workplace will look very different.

      Sorry for such a long answer to your question.. I think this topic is really important so wanted to give a proper answer 🙂

    • Photo: Dominique Anderson

      Dominique Anderson answered on 15 Nov 2016:

      No I could never agree with that, there is a positive attitiude towards women in the engineering sector along with a concentrated effort to try and recruit more women in order to create a more gender balanced enviroment within the engineering sector.
      There are many women specific engineering groups within the sector to provide suppport and encouragement for any females working in the area or interested in finding out more one of them being the IET womens network.
      I think much like nursing and teaching being considerd female roles, engineering has become considered a male role by many, mainly because the majority workforce is male but this is definately changing and for the better, so it’s important to remember that anyone can do any job regardless of what gender they are and this is quite important in order to maintain a pool of skilled people to do these essential jobs.