Date Published: 24-06-2014

Engineering organisations are coming together today to tackle the poor representation of women in the industry that means fewer than one in 10 British engineers are female.

More than 70 events around the country are taking place today to mark National Women in Engineering Day (NWED), which is being staged by the Women’s Engineering Society to mark its 95th birthday.

“The reason women aren’t going into engineering is that they don’t know about it,” said Dawn Bonfield, the society’s executive vice-president. “There are lots of engineering activities and outreach programmes for those at younger ages which girls enjoy just as much as boys.

“There’s a pathway into engineering for boys but that does not exist for girls as society puts barriers in their way. Most parents and teachers don’t know much about engineering, and instead see that a girl is good at maths or science and tells them they should be doctors or vets and not engineers.”

Ms Bonfield also warned that outdated ideas about what engineering involves also put women off it, as it suffers from a ‘dirty hands’ image that belies the creativity it involves.