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Inspiring Inclusion: Getting More Women Into Engineering This International Women’s Day


Inspiring Inclusion: Getting More Women Into Engineering This International Women’s Day

In 2021, women only made up 16.5% of engineers, and although this figure has increased year on year, the comparative amount is still disproportionate. Diverse and inclusive working environments are not only more enjoyable places to be, but they’re also crucial to workplace productivity, and the value a team can bring to any organisation. 

An environment where employees feel heard and represented is an environment that will allow for talent to flourish and a business to thrive. As this International Women’s Day theme is “inspire inclusion” the following report from Airmatic dives into why and how we should be encouraging more diversity in the workplace, and how we can inspire inclusion and attract more women into engineering. 

Why do we need more diversity? 

Encouraging women, especially from underrepresented backgrounds, into engineering begins by creating a diverse workforce. There are a huge number of reasons why you should make leaps and bounds to do this. When teams are more varied, everybody is encouraged to bring a unique quality to the table – and according to this Harvard study, are actually smarter. This necessity is underlined by just how many industries are still experiencing significant gaps in gender disparity within their workforce.


Looking at UCAS data from 2023, out of 189,030 applications to study engineering 149,240 were male and 39,800 were female. Females tended to apply to subjects related to Medicine, Social Sciences, and Design Creative and Performing Arts. Whereas for males, Engineering and Technology was the second most studied field after Business and Management. 

The UK has been working alongside UCAS to implement initiatives in the aim of attracting young talent in these industries, most notably through apprenticeships, fast-track study routes and funding opportunities, but it seems as if this won’t be sufficient in attracting and retaining talent. 


Gen Z is predicted to make up 27 percent of the workforce by 2025, demonstrating the importance of adapting the expectations around workplaces. Studies show that 70% of Gen Z would prioritise working for a company whose values more closely align with their own. 

Historically, certain trades such as engineering may have been perceived by some as unwelcoming environments. These stereotypes have the power to deter women and underrepresented individuals from pursuing a career in these fields, through fear of feeling unsafe or uncomfortable. 

It is crucial to challenge and dispel these stereotypes through increased awareness, representation, and clear communication of business values. So much so that 56% of Gen Z in the UK are hesitant to take on a role from a company that does not have diverse leadership. 

Businesses and organisations need to focus on establishing an inclusive workplace culture by implementing robust policies and continual learning and development. By prioritising this, we can create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace where everyone feels safe and valued. 

Here’s what you can do 

Hire an Inclusivity, diversity, and equality officer

If you are unsure of where to start within your organisation, there is help available to assist you in implementing these changes. Consider hiring or outsourcing an equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) officer. They will implement a harmonious company culture, along with strategic goals and key company policies.

Fair recruitment and hiring practices

When hiring new team members, fair and equal hiring practices organisations should comply with relevant anti-discrimination laws and regulations. Prioritising fair recruitment, organisations can access the best talent available, it can improve employee morale and engagement which will retain talent and drive innovation.

Make it your core values

Reevaluate your core company values and live by them. Think deeply about what your DEI values will be, how you can implement them, and illustrate what your company hopes to achieve and represent within these. 

Create safe spaces

Create safe spaces within your company’s work environment where employees can talk, make suggestions, speak to their superiors, and provide multiple ways to give feedback. By involving all employees in inclusion efforts, you are demonstrating a commitment to listening to their concerns and valuing their input, which will create a more positive workplace culture. 

Have and enforce non-discrimination-policy

Setting clear expectations about acceptable behaviour at work is not only the right thing to do ethically, it also prevents discrimination and protects employees and their emotional and mental wellbeing.

Training and development opportunities for your staff

Inclusive training programs can educate and raise awareness around unconscious biases, stereotypes, and systemic barriers that may exist in the workplace. This will not only strengthen team bonding but through understanding and empathy will ensure that each team member feels included and valued. 

Ensure equal opportunity

Promoting fairness and equality in the workplace will ensure that all employees have a fair chance at succeeding based on their skills and performance, rather than other factors such as race, gender, age, religion, or disability. A few ways you can implement this is through fair recruitment and hiring practices, providing employees equal pay and benefits, and offering flexible work arrangements.

Expert comment 

“As director of Airmatic, and a female myself who has worked in the engineering industry for nearly a decade, I recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The underrepresentation of women in engineering is unfortunately not just a statistic, but a reflection of barriers that have been long in place, and which hinder businesses still to this day. 

As we reflect on International Women’s Day and this year’s theme, it is an opportunity for all businesses to reaffirm their commitment to creating pathways for more women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue a rewarding career in engineering. Through action and robust initiatives such as fair hiring practices, mentorship and support programs for women, we can not only we not only enrich our workforces but also strengthen our competitive advantage in the marketplace.“

  • Claire Watson, Managing Director, Airmatic 

Original Article: HRnews

Are you an employer or organisation that needs to hire talent in Wales? Contact our digital recruitment specialist Gareth Allison on 02920 628808

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