Women in Tech

Worrying spike in women leaving engineering

31st May 2024
Paige West

Data on the engineering and technology workforce revealed that the proportion of women working in engineering and technology roles had declined in the past year from 16.5% to 15.7%. This decline was concentrated among women aged 35 to 44.

In contrast, women made up 56.1% of the rest of the UK workforce.

EngineeringUK Chief Executive Hilary Leevers commented: “We are taking this small but significant decline very seriously. Behind the percentages are professional women with real lives and careers. The sector as a whole needs to better understand why women are leaving and work harder to improve their retention, including creating opportunities for those who have left the profession to return. The various government skills taskforces must also ensure retention is core to the strategies they are working on.”

Analysis of the wider UK workforce did not show a similar drop or pattern of women leaving other professions.

The data revealed that in 2023, there were more women entering engineering and technology occupations in the 16 to 34 age groups, indicating that more women are entering the workforce straight from education and training. However, retention further into the profession remains an issue.

It is hoped the data will serve as a wake-up call to engineering and technology companies to improve recruitment and retention practices. Organisations like WISE, WES, Equal Engineers, and the Royal Academy of Engineering can all support women and businesses with inclusion and equity in the profession.

Click here to read the report.

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