Celebrating Women in Engineering
According to recent research published by the campaign group Wise, women currently account for only 10% of the UK’s Engineering workforce. The Royal Academy of Engineering has also estimated that over one million engineers and technicians will be needed by 2020. Such figures show that opportunities to work in engineering are in abundance, and that we must all work to encourage more females to consider taking up a career in the field.
Female staff and students are an integral part to the University of Bradford’s Faculty of Engineering and Informatics. It is without disguise that women academics and technicians in the Faculty are outnumbered by men, but by no means overshadowed. Each individual woman is an incredible ambassador for their subjects and an inspiration to the students they teach. Students are the core of the Faculty, they inspire us and we motivate them to foster a bright career. In reaching the Royal Academy of Engineering’s estimated figure of one million new engineers by 2020 it is predicted it will require a doubling of the current number of annual engineering graduates and apprentices.
As part of National Women in Engineering Day we wanted to take the opportunity to share the stories of our female staff and students to inspire others to take the next step towards a career in engineering and technology. National Women in Engineering Day (external link) was set up by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) (external link) to celebrate its 95th anniversary, with the aim to highlight the work that women do in engineering, and to showcase the great engineering careers available for girls.
Staff and Student Profiles
MEng Chemical Engineering Student (2012-2016)
My Dad and Grandad were engineers, so they were very proud when I chose to follow a family tradition, even though I’m the first to choose Chemical Engineering.
I was nervous about being the only female, but there were five other women on my course, plus loads more across the whole school. In fact, in the year below me, the ratio of men to women is almost 50:50, which is fantastic.
MEng Civil & Structural Engineering Student
My keen interest in maths and physics as well as my father’s background in Electrical Aviation and Radio Engineering is what led me to want to study engineering. People regularly ask me what I am studying, when I tell then I am studying engineering 99.9% of the reactions I receive is "What? WOW!". People just don’t expect it.
I believe that if you feel that you would like to work in the engineering field and you are enjoying your maths and physics classes, you should not be afraid, even if you are the only woman on the course of 115 people. Proof to yourself and others that you are just as good as a male counterpart!