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5 reasons why it’s a great time to become a female engineer

Engineering in the UK has had something of a renaissance recently. From car brands like Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover pledging their futures to manufacturing in the UK to better government support for small to medium-sized manufacturers dotted all over the country. One thing is still missing in this improving industry, however, and that is women.

Engineering is still an industry that is dominated by men, but steps are being taken to improve the balance and get more females into the manufacturing facilities, research and development teams and management departments of organisations. But what’s so attractive for women?

You’ve got a better chance of being hired

Engineering companies are under pressure to hire more female staff, with quotas in place and lobbying for programmes that actively promote women in engineering. If you’ve got the right skills set and the right attitude, you’re way more likely to get hired than a man who has similar experience, you could even pip a male with more experience to the post! Despite this seeming sexist in the opposite direction, it’s a loophole which can be exploited until the levels balance out, which is definitely still a long way off, so start applying now!

You’ll have better pay parity

Despite doing exactly the same (if not a better) job than men, women are still paid less in the majority of jobs in the UK. Although a lot is being done to level the playing field and cut out the gender pay gap in other industries, engineering is a bit more balanced thanks to the female engineering movement. Packages are more attractive to get more women applying and engineering companies often have an inflexible salary structure, so you’re likely to pick up a salary that is the same as your male colleagues.

There’s more support than ever for women entering male-dominated industries

As well as the pressure for companies to hire more women, there’s also plenty of back-ups once you’re in the door. From improved welfare programmes for women who enter an exciting and challenging career to independent groups like the Women’s Engineering Society, you’ll be able to network with other female engineers and gain support that isn’t just provided by your employer. This is ideal for benchmarking what you’re getting compared to other female engineers and acts as a support network if you feel that you still aren’t getting what you want in your new role.

You’ll get world-class training

This applies to everyone, but engineering companies are putting more emphasis on training and apprenticeships as they build an engineering future that is just as focused on providing services to other manufacturers around the world as it is on producing engineering hardware. As a female engineer in the UK, you’ll learn about cutting-edge engineering technologies and techniques, all completely free of charge as part of your role. You may even be entitled to have any further education paid for too, depending on your employer and the programmes that they offer.

You’ll be the boss one day

Men still dominate the boardrooms in almost every profession, but again this is a massive target for change as we strive for career equality. Just like salaries and hiring, the glass ceiling is hopefully about to be smashed to pieces, with more women being encouraged to go for senior roles, and fewer men likely to automatically progress to senior leadership roles ahead of women.

It’s never too late to start a new career in engineering, and apprentices, as well as experienced hires, are being encouraged to consider engineering as a career. Engineering is in a good place right now from a career perspective for both sexes, but women certainly have the advantage as it stands!

Photo: Turning high for piston rings (1914 – 18) by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums licensed under Creative commons 0
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