Image: George Joch/Argonne National Laboratory Image: George Joch/Argonne National Laboratory

Female engineers are calling on the government to do more to encourage young women into the industry, with 71% saying they believe young women aren't aware of the career opportunities in engineering.

Jobs site CV-Library discovered that over half (56.5%) felt that engineering was still viewed as a ‘male’ profession. The vast majority (92.%) said that more women would want to work in the sector if they were taught about it from an early age.

The female engineers surveyed believe the following actions should be taken to eliminate gender inequality:

Promotion within the education system - Almost two thirds (60.4%) believe engineering-based subjects should be offered in schools

Raising awareness of opportunities - More profile-raising and education on the study and application of engineering would encourage women to enter the industry, according to 41.9% of female engineers

Profiling role models in the sector - Celebrating success stories could contribute positively, as 44.4%believe that there’s a lack of understanding amongst females around engineering and what it entails

Actively promoting diversity - Nearly half (45.4%) believe sector organisations working together to promote gender diversity and equality would raise the profile of women in engineering

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said: “There are great opportunities in the sector for women, but we regularly notice a severe lack of female candidates applying to engineering roles. For example, in the last six months we had over 105,000 engineering jobs advertised on the site, which received over 2.1 million applications. However, only 9.2% (202,666) of those came from female applicants.

“It’s clear that changes need to be made further down the education system to entice women into the sector. In the meantime I’d encourage organisations in the industry to use National Women in Engineering Day as a platform to support equal opportunities, diversify their recruitment strategies and promote the great careers that they have on offer to female engineers.”

Narina Sekhon, project coordinator at the Women’s Engineering Society, said: “The findings from CV-Library uncover the realities of what it’s like for many women to work in the sector. But, despite the fact that engineering is still a male-dominated industry, there are plenty of fantastic opportunities for women to embrace. We launched National Women in Engineering Day to raise the profile of females in engineering and focus on the amazing career opportunities available in this exciting sector. By working with a range of organisations and education bodies, we are taking steps to eliminate gender barriers once and for all.”