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UK public backs engineering as good career for women

08 March 2016

A public survey by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that 78% of the public think engineering would be a good career choice for a woman.

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The survey, commissioned to coincide with International Women’s Day, found that 86% of respondents would support their school-aged daughter if she decided to become an engineer. The poll also found strong support (78%) for more engineering to be included in the school curriculum, while 54% of people said engineering is as prestigious a profession as law, medicine or accountancy.

Dr Helen Meese, Head of Healthcare at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer said:

“Women are missing out on the huge career opportunities in engineering. Currently just 6% of UK engineers are female, but the results of this survey are encouraging and show that there is appetite for change. 

“On International Women’s Day we want to celebrate the huge achievements of female engineers and to call on more women to consider a career in engineering.

“Engineering opens doors to hugely creative and rewarding career paths, from creating the next generation of greener, more efficient technologies, to developing life-saving procedures used in hospitals.

“According to these results, 78% of the public would like more engineering to be included in the school curriculum. We think it is vital that in addition to learning about volcanoes and photosynthesis, children are also taught about the manufactured world and understand the principles of objects, such as a phone touchscreen or a dialysis machine. 

“This survey shows strong public support for women in engineering, and we hope that by making children aware of the variety of ways engineering impacts our day-to-day lives that we will be able to inspire more children and girls to take up engineering.”

The survey of 2,005 members of the public was carried out by ICM Unlimited on behalf of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on 24-26 February 2016. To read the full results click here.

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