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UK has half as many female engineers as European rivals

28 April, 2010

The UK has lowest proportion of female engineers in Europe with just 9% of UK engineering professionals being women, compared 26% in Sweden, 20% in Italy and 18% in Spain. Revealing the figures recently, Paul Jackson, chief executive of Engineering UK (below), called them “shocking” and announced that his organisation is commissioning research into the reasons behind the disparity.

An analysis of 28 European countries shows that in most of them, the percentage of female engineers is at least twice as high as in the UK. In Bulgaria, 29.5% of engineers are women, while highest proportion (30%) is found in Latvia.

“It’s essential that we get behind these figures and understand what is it that our European neighbours are doing differently and what can we learn from them,” Jackson told a careers conference in London. “We need a step change, rather than incremental change, in the number of women entering the engineering profession in the UK if we are to meet the global technological challenges that lie ahead.”

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