Today marks International Women in Engineering Day (INWED22), a day to raise the profile of women engineers and encourage women and girls to explore this career path.
Women are still vastly under-represented in the engineering and construction industries, and as an employer we recognise we have a role to play in widening participation.
We spoke with our women engineers and all agreed that they were not encouraged to study engineering or STEM subjects in general at school or college. You read can some of the interviews below. According to HESA only 20% students studying engineering and technology at university in 20/21 were women. This is reflected in our greatest barrier to hiring more women into engineering roles – the lack of candidates.
We are committed to equality in our recruitment process and always hiring the best person for the job regardless of gender (or any other characteristic). We’ve recently had two offers of employment accepted by women engineers and we look forward to welcoming them in the coming months. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen very often as we typically get no, or very few, applications from women.
This is why we are keen to focus our efforts on education. As industry professionals we have the opportunity to increase awareness of engineering as a career path, and building services in particular. People first is one of our core values, and that should extend to making an effort to bringing talent into the industry in the first place.
We are committed to providing a structured career path for all staff, with support for education and training at all levels. We currently have two apprentices with us, but there is more we can do to educate and engage with young people.
This isn’t about just one day. We are taking INWED22 as the starting point for change, and taking the opportunity to set concrete goals for the future. We will review these annually, reflect on our achievements and set actions for the next year. We are empowering the women as CWC to lead this agenda, with the full support of our directors.
This year we plan to:
- Support at least one woman engineer to join the Women in Engineering Society, giving us access to campaigns, events and support opportunities
- Make connections with local colleges and universities, finding opportunities to promote engineering through careers days, mentoring etc
- Offer short work placements as an introduction to the industry for young women considering a career in engineering