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Sep 11

98% of female engineers find job rewarding, survey reveals 87% not hindered by being a woman

A study of 300 female engineers in the UK has revealed an overwhelming majority (over 80%) are happy with their career choice and 98% find their job rewarding.

The survey – Britain’s got talented female engineers – carried out by Atkins in partnership with BP, Rolls-Royce and the Royal Academy of Engineering, asked 300 female engineers what inspires them and how they think companies can work to help attract more females in the future.

Martin Grant, chief executive of Atkins’ energy business, said: “Encouraging more girls and women into engineering is vital for the future growth of the British economy and the sustainability of many British companies.

“There have been many studies into why girls don’t choose STEM subjects at school but we haven’t seen any focused on what inspires the women who do choose a path to engineering, either at school or later. These survey results show that engineering is in fact an extremely rewarding career choice for women. However, it also shows that a lack of understanding, awareness and inspiration prohibits girls considering an engineering career, which we in industry must work together to address.”

Other findings include:

  • 79% said their colleagues and employers play an important role in helping them fit their career alongside family life and personal interests
  • Although three-quarters believe engineering is still regarded as a male career, 70% say being a woman makes no difference when applying for a job, and for a further 17% being female actually helped
  • 91% cite an inspirational teacher as a reason for choosing an engineering related career – and it’s not always a physics teacher
  • 75% were interested in problem solving and fixing things from an early age
  • Seven in eight believe greater awareness of what engineers do is needed

The survey was launched at an event at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London today (Tuesday 10 September 2013). Dr Shini Somara, British Engineer and TV presenter, is working with Atkins to spread the word about just how varied, fulfilling and enjoyable an engineer career can be.

Dr Somara said: “The results of this survey give us perfect material to use in the drive to encourage more girls, young women and even boys to choose STEM subjects, because they can see how satisfied it makes people.

“Not only does engineering offer a huge variety of career choices, but these jobs are rewarding and fulfilling – and they offer flexibility and a work/life balance – which can’t be said of many well-paid careers.

“The task now is for industry and education to work together to sell these messages to the next generation of young engineers.”

As part of its drive to use this survey Atkins has promoted a series of role models whose stories are available to support the full survey report at http://www.atkinsglobal.com/about-us/our-publications

Three hundred female engineers with 165 different job titles working at 90 British companies were surveyed by The Survey Shop either online or by phone.

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