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 January 2018).
- 2017 surveys indicate 11% of the engineering workforce is female.(1) This is a positive change from the 9% in 2015.(2) On the other hand the number of women registered engineers and technicians (i.e. CEng, IEng, EngTech has dropped from 6% to 5% of total.(3, 4)
- 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%.(5)
- 15.1% of engineering undergraduates in the UK in 2017 are women.(2) Compared with India: where over 30% of engineering students are women.(6)
- The proportion of young women studying engineering and physics has remained virtually static since 2012.(7)
- The number of women in computing degree programmes appears to be falling: 14% in 2010 and 13% in 2014.(8)
- In 2015/16 women accounted for only 6.8% of Engineering apprenticeship starts and 1.9% of Construction Skills starts.(9)
- Only around 20% of A Level physics students are girls and this has not changed in 25 years.(10)
- There is now very little gender difference in take up of and achievement in core STEM GCSE subjects.(11)
- 61% of engineering employers say a recruitment of engineering and technical staff with right skills is a barrier to business.(12) 32% of companies across sectors have reported difficulties recruiting experienced STEM staff, and 20% find it difficult to recruit entrants to STEM.(13)
- 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.(14) In 2017, the annual shortfall of the right engineering skills is anywhere between 25,500 (level 3) and upto 60000 (over level 4 skills).(1) We need to double, at least, the number of UK based university engineering students.(12)
- 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 2011 graduates of eng/tech programmes went on to work in engineering and technology.(15)
- Women Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering: 2% in 2006 and 4% in 2014.(16)
- BUT In a survey of 300 female engineers, 84% were either happy or extremely happy with their career choice.(17)
- AND Engineering students are second only to medics in securing full-time jobs and earning good salaries.(17)
- Engineering is important to the UK: it contributes 26% of our GDP(2) or £127,580,000,000 to our economy.
- Enabling women to meet their full potential in work could add as much as $28 trillion to annual GDP in 2025.(18)
- In 2010 nearly 100,000 female STEM graduates were unemployed or economically inactive.(19)
- Diversity matters: companies are 15% more likely to perform better if they are gender diverse.(20)
- 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”.(21)
- The National Centre for Universities and Business offer an excellent infographic poster, Talent2030 Dashboard, which shows progress to their targets for women in engineering. In 2017, one of their targets was met: 50% of Physics GCSE students were girls.
- Women in STEM workforce, WISE Campaign, 2017 https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/resources/2017/10/women-in-stem-workforce-2017
- Skills and Demand in Industry 2015, IET, https://www.theiet.org/factfiles/education/skills2015-page.cfm?
- Engineering UK 2017: The State of Engineering, http://www.engineeringuk.com/media/1355/enguk-report-2017.pdf
- Engineering UK 2015: The State of Engineering, http://www.engineeringuk.com/EngineeringUK2015/EngUK_Report_2015_Interactive.pdf
- 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
- 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/ )
- Talent 2030 Dashboard, National Centre for Universities and Business, 2015 http://www.ncub.co.uk/reports/talent-2030-dashboard-2015.html
- Fewer British women studying computer science than in 2010, ComputerWorld, July 2915 https://www.computerworlduk.com/careers/uk-demand-for-it-workers-continues-grow-rapidly-3619000/
- FE Data Library, Updated Dec 2016 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships
- 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
- 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/2017
- Skills and Demand in Industry 2017 Survey, IET https://www.theiet.org/factfiles/education/skills2017-page.cfm?
- 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/
- Improving diversity in STEM, CaSE, 2014 http://sciencecampaign.org.uk/?p=14146
- Diversity in Engineering, Women’s Engineering Society, September 2014 http://www.wes.org.uk/diversityinengineering
- 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
- Britain has got talented female engineers, RAEng and Atkins 2013 http://www.raeng.org.uk/publications/other/britains-got-talented-female-engineers
- 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
- 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
- Why Diversity Matters article, McKinsey & Co, January 2015 http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/organization/why_diversity_matters
- Global Diversity and Inclusion - Fostering innovation through a diverse workforce, Forbes Insights, 2011 http://images.forbes.com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Innovation_Through_Diversity.pdf
NB All URLs above accessed January 2018
Other Useful Reports
The following are other WES pages and external reports that make good reading.
- WES page on number of Women in Science from Highly Cited reports
- Download the IET's Women in STEM Statistics 2015 from this link
- Four Pillars of Eonomic Justice for Women report from Rosa - the UK fund for women and girls
- Forward Ladies Annual National Survey Report 2018
If you know of other reports or statistics not referenced by the WES Statistics document or listed above, or you have any query, email firstname.lastname@example.org, setting subject to WES Statistics.