Number of Women in Engineering Increasing

Number of Women in Engineering Increasing

27 February 2013 at 12:21

Women are beginning to recognise the opportunities a career in engineering can offer, a report launched by HRM Recruit today has found as part of Engineers Week 2013.

The research in association with Engineers Ireland, of 2,064 engineers in January and February of 2013, revealed that while men still outnumber women in the engineering profession, the tide is changing with 50% of female respondents under 35 years of age or younger.

                             Download Engineering Perspectives 2013 here

The report also found that nearly 40% of all engineers surveyed are with their employers for more than eight years, indicating the durability of an engineering qualification.  Of the engineers who got a pay increase in the last three years, nearly two thirds said they were in the 26 – 35 age group, showing that young engineers entering the profession have the scope to earn well and advance quickly.

The report, entitled “Engineering Perspectives”, was launched today by Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD as part of Engineers Week 2013.

Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD said: “Engineers create many of the things which improve our quality of life on a daily basis and I am delighted to get the chance to commend Ireland’s engineers for the contribution they make to our society and to launch this research today.  From my perspective as Minister for Small Business, I see many small indigenous engineering firms in this country, making a significant contribution in terms of jobs and tax revenue, as well as through the service they provide, be it in the field of chemical, civil, electrical or mechanical engineering. We need to ensure that we continue to take steps to satisfy the industry demand for engineers by companies of all sizes operating in this country.  This year’s Engineers Week will do much to encourage students to consider engineering as a career, so I wish Engineers Ireland on-going success in this respect.”

John Power, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said the HRM Recruit report showcased the changing face of engineering in this country. “The ‘Engineering Perspectives’ report gives us a keen insight into the evolving engineering profession in Ireland. On average, the ratio of men to women in engineering was 9:1 whereas a fifth of all respondents in this survey are women. And of these, half were under the age of 35. We see this as a very positive signal that more women are now choosing a career in engineering as they recognise the variety of opportunities available to them in critical areas such as technology, energy and life-sciences. It is heartening to see that programmes like our STEPS schools outreach programme are producing results.”  

Graham Morris, Managing Director, HRM Recruit, speaking at the launch at Engineers Ireland offices on Clyde Road, said: “This report highlights the great role diversity that an engineering qualification provides during or starting out on a career. Attracting more women into the profession is essential and that begins by growing secondary level student engagement in STEM subjects - mathematics in particular. Demand for engineering talent in the Irish market is extremely high, compounded by low unemployment rates relative to other professions. A significant proportion of engineers, whether they stay within the engineering channel or not, rise to senior management. We believe this points to the value organisations place on the problem-solving and strategic thinking competences an engineering qualification delivers.”

The full findings of the HRM Recruit report showed that a large proportion of engineers move into general management as their careers progress, with 80% saying an engineering qualification was more than just a technical qualification.  45% of engineers surveyed had received a salary increase in the last three years, while 95% of engineers see the ability to communicate with non-engineering professionals as vital

Engineers Week 2013, a week long programme of nationwide events with the aim of celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland, runs until Sunday, March 3.  Tomorrow, Thursday, February 28, Thursday, February 28 will explore the world of mathematics with the ‘Dr Maths’ workshops, supported by Minister RuairĂ­ Quinn. The highlight will be the Dr Maths show at the Engineers Ireland lecture theatre at 9.30 am which will be attended by Minister Ruairi Quinn.

Friday, March 1 sees engineering companies run organised tours of their plants across Ireland as part of ‘Open Day’ while Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 will feature family-oriented engineering shows across Ireland to conclude the week. 

An estimated 497 events will take place nationwide over the course of the week.  To find out more information about events taking place near you or to register your attendance log onto www.engineersweek.ie.

The STEPS programme is a strategic partner of Discover Science and Engineering (DSE). DSE aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among students, teachers and members of the public.