IET research shows majority of children see engineering as male profession
24 Nov 2017
Research by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) reveals only 9% of children aged between nine and 16 would describe an engineer as female.
The IET questioned over 1,000 children in May, as well as more than 2,000 adults to gather information about the perceptions of what makes a ‘typical engineer’.
Over two-thirds (67%) of children that responded to the survey described a typical engineer as being male, while a further 73% of adults did.
Half of those aged nine to 16 also said a typical engineer was white, while 61% of adults used this description.
According to research by EngineeringUK in 2015, just 9% of engineers in the UK are female – the lowest figure of any European country. This is equal to the percentage of children who see engineering as typically a career for men.
To dispel this idea and celebrate the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards in December, the IET commissioned Rankin Studios to create a series of images portraying female engineers.
Engineers featured include Roma Agrawal, who is a chartered structural engineer, and Yewande Akinola, whose engineering experience includes the design of sustainable water supply systems.
I hope ‘Portrait of an Engineer’ inspires other young women to see engineering in a new light and consider it as a future career
IET diversity and inclusion manager Jo Foster said: “Engineering is perceived as masculine, unglamorous and usually depicts people wearing hard hats and overalls. The reality is very different.
“With this series of beautiful and remarkable portraits we want to break down the visual stereotypes and show that engineering is a diverse and creative career which offers the opportunity to do something life – or even – world changing. It also shows that you don’t need a hard hat or high vis jacket to be a groundbreaking engineer.”
Renowned photographer Rankin added: “I hope ‘Portrait of an Engineer’ inspires other young women to see engineering in a new light and consider it as a future career. These women are great role models, they are strong, smart, and can help change the world with their skills.”
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