An industry in crisis: why we need more women in engineering

In 2016, Engineering UK announced a severe crisis in recruitment. More people are leaving the engineering sector than entering. Even with the best case scenario in mind (that is, given the lowest estimate of the numbers leaving), engineering’s future looks bleak: there are 69,000 people abandoning the sector every year, compared to around 46,000 apprentices and undergrads seeking to replace them.

It is thought that a combination of uncertainty around Brexit, along with rising wages in Eastern Europe, is playing a significant part in the crisis. After all, Britain has leaned heavily on its EU labour force in the recent past. Now that the world is changing, it is going to have to look elsewhere to fill the shortfall. It just so happens that the UK is abundant with a powerful natural resource - its population of women, who outnumber men by a slender margin.

We like to think of the UK as a hugely successful and progressive country, but remarkably it lags behind a lot of countries when it comes to the STEM fields. For example, the UK has the lowest number of women in the engineering sector out of any European country - with a figure of 11 percent.

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