Statistics of women in engineering in the UK.

There are a number of data sources that give a good overview of the current position of women in engineering.

Explore the links below to find out more.

Latest statistics

As reported in March 2022 by Engineering UK:

  • Women make up 16.5% of all engineers, compared to 10.5% reported in 2010
  • This represents a 6 percentage point increase in the proportion of women in the engineering workforce.
  • The actual number of women working in engineering roles also increased from 562,000 in 2010 to 936,000 in 2021
  • There was an overall expansion of the engineering workforce from 5.3 million in 2010 to 5.6 million in 2021.
  • The increase in the number of women in engineering roles continued to rise even when the total number of people working in engineering fell in 2020 and 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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 on this page, or you have any query, email, with the subject WES Statistics.

Previous data

The following statistics were reported by Engineering UK in 2020:

  • Women make up 14.5% of all engineers
  • This represents a 25.7% increase in women in engineering occupations (compared to a 4.6% in the overall workforce) since 2016.
  • The number of women working in engineering occupations has risen from 721,586 in Q2 of 2016 to 906,785 in Q3 of 2020.
  • This is an increase of 185,199 women in engineering occupations between 2016 and Q3 2020.

The following are the statistics interpreted by WES from the Engineering UK 2018 report:

  • 12.37% of all engineers are women in the UK.(22)
  • 21.80% women work in the engineering sector (Inc. engineers)(22)
  • 46.4% of girls 11-14 would consider a career in engineering, compared to 70.3% of boys(22)
  • 42.0% of girls 14-16 would consider a career in engineering, compared to 66.0% of boys(22)
  • 25.4% of girls 16-18 would consider a career in engineering, compared to 51.9% of boys(22)
  • 22.2% of students starting A Level Physics in 2018 were female.(22)
  • In all STEM A-Levels except Chemistry more girls get A-C grades than boys – including Further Maths, Maths, ICT and Design and Technology.(22)
  • Girls and women make up less than 18% of higher apprentices in engineering and manufacturing, and 7.4% of all engineering apprentices.(22)
  • 79.8% of female engineering students get a First or Upper Second, compared to 74.6% of male students.(22)
  • 60.7% of female engineering graduates enter full time work, compared to 58.8% of all female graduates and 61.9% of male engineering graduates (57.7% of all male graduates).(22)
  • Female engineering graduates are more likely to enter full-time work (61% vs 59%) and less likely to enter part-time work (8% vs 12%) than all female graduates. Female engineering graduates are also less likely to enter part-time work than all male graduates (11%).(22)

A further recent update from the Engineering Council (The Engineering Brand Monitor 2019) is an attitudinal survey of more than 2,500 young people, 1,000 STEM secondary school teachers and 1800 members of the public. The compelling evidence showed STEM outreach can and does work: young people attending a STEM careers activity in the previous 12 months were over 3 times as likely to consider a career in engineering than those who had not.(23)

  • Engineering is highly regarded by STEM secondary school teachers and parents
  • More young people would consider a career in engineering
  • Boys have more positive views of engineering than girls even in primary school
  • Salary ranks as an important factor in young people’s career choices, over and above ‘enjoyment’, ‘job security’ and ‘something that challenges me’
  • Young people who attend STEM Outreach events are more likely to know what engineers do- but only a quarter of those surveyed had been to such an event


Discover WES In Action

We have a wide range of events, awards, campaigns, projects, programmes and activities that support and encourage women engineers at all stages of their careers.