MP supports campaign to boost number of female engineers in the UK

To mark International Women’s Day, Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, is supporting the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) #9percentisnotenough campaign to tackle the gender diversity issue in UK engineering, which is compounding the engineering skills shortage.

#9percentisnotenough is the ‘rallying call’ behind the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards (YWE), which identify and celebrate the best female engineering talent. The 2017 Awards are launched today, and the IET is calling on successful and inspirational young female engineers to enter and become much-needed roles to help inspire more girls to become engineers.

The Awards, which have been running for 40 years this year, demonstrate to young women and girls across the UK that engineering is a diverse and exciting industry offering creative and challenging careers. Recognising and celebrating outstanding female engineers has never been so important. Statistics from the IET’s Skills and Demand in Industry survey showed that women represent only 9% of the engineering workforce in the UK*.

#9PercentIsNotEnough has been encouraging engineers to share a picture with their hand raised to the fact that only 9% of women make up the UK’s engineering and technology workforce – and to highlight that engineering is a realistic and inspiring career for girls.

President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Jeremy Watson CBE, said: “Women are woefully underrepresented in engineering. In a profession with a serious skills shortage, this represents a problem for the economy as well as for diversity.

“So to coincide with International Women’s Day, we want to make it clear that engineering is a fantastic career for women. Not only that – but there are thousands of female engineers doing amazing things that are changing our world.

“The Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards celebrate our best female engineering talent and finds those all-important engineering role models to inspire more girls – and boys – to go into engineering. We’re very grateful for Alison Thewliss MP’s support for our campaign.”

Current IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Jenni Sidey, added:

“The IET’s efforts in diversity in the field are not just good for the profession but a necessity for the UK to be a competitive innovator and global technological leader.”

The deadline for entry to the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards is 7 July 2017. For more information, visit the IET’s website.

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