Womens Engineering Society: Inspiring women as engineers, scientists and technical leaders

Useful Statistics

Useful Statistics

The following are some key pieces of data most often requested.

They have been extracted from the WES Statistics document that is a compilation of data and statistics from multiple sources (revised in March 2016).

  • Only 9% of the engineering workforce is female.(1) And only 6% of registered engineers and technicians (i.e. CEng, IEng, EngTech) are women.(2)
  • The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%, while Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus lead with nearly 30%.(3)
  • 15.8% of engineering and technology undergraduates in the UK are female.(4) Compare with India: where over 30% of engineering students are women on engineering courses account for over 30% of the students.(5)
  • The proportion of young women studying engineering and physics has remained virtually static since 2012.(6)
  • In 2013/14, women accounted for only 3.8% of Engineering apprenticeship starts and 1.7% of Construction Skills starts.(7)
  • Only around 20% of A Level physics students are girls and this has not changed in 25 years.(8)
  • There is now very little gender difference in take up of and achievement in core STEM GCSE subjects.(9)
  • 64% of engineering employers say a shortage of engineers in the UK is a threat to their business.(10) 32% of companies across sectors currently have difficulties recruiting experienced STEM staff, and 20% find it difficult to recruit entrants to STEM.(11)
  • The UK needs to significantly increase the number of people with engineering skills. In 2014, one report put the annual shortfall of STEM skills at 40,000.(12) As of 2015, the annual shortfall of the right engineering skills is 55000.(1) We need to double, at least, the number of UK based university engineering students.(10)
  • Women and men engineering and technology students express similar levels of intent to work in engineering & technology, but 66.2% of the men and 47.4% of the women graduates in 2011 went on to work in engineering and technology.(13)
  • Women Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering: 2% in 2006 and 4% in 2014.(14)
  • BUT In a survey of 300 female engineers, 84% were either happy or extremely happy with their career choice.(15)
  • AND Engineering students are second only to medics in securing full-time jobs and earning good salaries.(15)
  • Enabling women to meet their full potential in work could add as much as $28 trillion to annual GDP in 2025.(16)
  • In 2010 nearly 100,000 female STEM graduates were unemployed or economically inactive.(17)
  • Diversity matters: companies are 15% more likely to perform better if they are gender diverse.(18)
  • Diversity is crucial for innovation: in a global survey, 85% corporate diversity and talent leaders agreed that “A diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that drive innovation”.(19)
  1. Skills & Demands from Industry - 2015 Survey, IET http://www.theiet.org/factfiles/education/skills2015-page.cfm
  2. Engineering UK 2015: The State of Engineering,  http://www.engineeringuk.com/EngineeringUK2015/EngUK_Report_2015_Interactive.pdf
  3. Quote from Vince Cable says UK economy hampered by lack of female engineers, The Guardian, 4 Nov 2013, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/04/vince-cable-uk-economy-female-engineers, accessed Feb 2013
  4. Women in STEM – facts and statistics (Reporting period 2012-2015), IET https://communities.theiet.org/files/8042
  5. Engineering Is a man’s field: Changing a stereotype with a lesson from India, Scientific American, 2013  http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/engineering-is-a-mane28099s-field-changing-a-stereotype-with-a-lesson-from-india/ )
  6. Talent 2030 Dashboard, National Centre for Universities and Business, 2015 http://www.ncub.co.uk/reports/talent-2030-dashboard-2015.html
  7. FE Data Library, Updated Dec 2015 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships
  8. Key headline from the Institute of Physics – ‘It’s Different for Girls’ research, 2014 http://www.iop.org/education/teacher/support/girls_physics/page_41593.html
  9. Joint Council for Qualifications, which represents the seven largest awarding bodies in the UK, from their online sites http://www.jcq.org.uk/examination-results/gcses/2015
  10. Engineering for a successful nation, RAEng and EPSRC, March 2015 http://www.raeng.org.uk/publications/reports/engineering-for-a-successful-nation
  11. Inspiring Growth, CBI/Pearson 2015 Education and Skills Survey, http://news.cbi.org.uk/reports/education-and-skills-survey-2015/education-and-skills-survey-2015/
  12. Improving diversity in STEM, CaSE, 2014 http://sciencecampaign.org.uk/?p=14146
  13. Diversity in Engineering, Women’s Engineering Society, September 2014  http://www.wes.org.uk/diversityinengineering
  14. Why engineering should be a woman's game, Dame Prof Ann Dowling, BBC News, 3 February 2015 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30876899
  15. Britain has got talented female engineers, RAEng and Atkins 2013 http://www.raeng.org.uk/publications/other/britains-got-talented-female-engineers
  16. McKinsey Global Institute The power of parity, McKinsey & Co, Sept 2015 http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/growth/how_advancing_womens_equality_can_add_12_trillion_to_global_growth
  17. Women and men in science, engineering and technology: the UK statistics guide 2010, UKRC https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/uploads/wise/files/archive/final_sept_15th_15.42_ukrc_statistics_guide_2010.pdf
  18. Why Diversity Matters article, McKinsey & Co, January 2015 http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/organization/why_diversity_matters
  19. Global Diversity and Inclusion - Fostering innovation through a diverse workforce, Forbes Insights, 2011 http://images.forbes.com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Innovation_Through_Diversity.pdf
NB URLs above accessed January 2016 


Other Useful Reports

The following are other WES pages and external reports that make good reading.

If you know of other reports or statistics not referenced by the WES Statistics document or listed above, or you have any query, email info@wes.org.uk, setting subject to WES Statistics.

Women in Engineering Statistics March2016.pdf887.25 KB

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