By Daniel Hunter
One in five women working in male-dominated industries expect to encounter patronising colleagues, according to clothing manufacturer Stormline.
The study comes after the #ilooklikeanengineer hashtag started trending on Twitter in support of women in the engineering industry. The hashtag was started after a string of sexist comments when a female engineer was used as part of a job ad for OneLogic.
Stormline's poll of 1,000 women found that a 'macho' atmosphere would be the biggest deterrent to working in a male-dominated industries. Safety concerns and dealing with patronising colleagues filled the top three places.
The work environment - not the work itself - that has the biggest influence the attractiveness of a job. Pay levels, wording on job adverts and being asked to carry out boring work were found to be less off-putting.
Brewing (41% identified ‘macho atmosphere’), construction (40%) and security (26%) were the industries perceived to have the most macho atmosphere.
Military (53% identified ‘safety’ ), marine and fishing (39%) and intelligence (31%) were the industries perceived as being the most unsafe by women.
Aviation (42% identified ‘patronising male colleagues’) and medicine (32%) were perceived as most likely to force women to endure being patronised, while the most off-putting characteristics of agriculture (29% identified ‘unpleasant working conditions’) and conservation (28%) were the associated unpleasant working conditions.
Caroline Livesey, geotechnical design consultant, said: “I think societal bias tends to pigeonhole women and men into specific roles. The knock on impact of this is that both genders are inclined to assume women cannot make good engineers as it is not a role that we naturally see them in.
“The downside of this is that women continue to have to break down those barriers in order to progress in this industry. On a day-to-day basis for females in civil engineering is that they have to work far harder than their male counterparts to earn respect, to progress, and to be trusted technically.”