WOMEN’S INTEREST IN STEM SUBJECTS RISES, BUT SKILLS SHORTAGE REMAINS
The number of female engineers in the UK is “pathetically low” and “deeply worrying”, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
IMechE chief Steven Tetlow has called upon the government, employers and institutions to “get their act together” in an attempt to end the skills shortage in the industry. However, data from Cambridge Occupational Analysts (COA) has shown that the number of girls considering university courses in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects is rising; the survey of over 20,000 sixth form pupils in 2006/07 and 2012/13 revealed girls’ interest in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering rose by 18% and 27%, respectively, compared to 10% and 13% for boys.
But MPs have warned that women are still being put off STEM subjects due to the pressures of family life combined with workplace gender prejudices. The Commons Science and Technology Committee have revealed that just one-in-eight jobs requiring advanced science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) skills has gone to women.
Patrick Phelan, Managing Director for Aquaterra Energy, said: “Diversity and equal opportunity are integral to building and maintaining successful businesses, and Aquaterra Energy is committed to providing support and guidance for young women joining the oil and gas industry.
“Our partnerships with learning institutions allow us to see the benefits of increased STEM programmes in schools and colleges first hand, and promising signs that we will see more young women graduating with STEM degrees and taking up challenging and rewarding positions in offshore engineering companies like ours, where they will have the opportunity to design and develop cutting edge technology for conductor supported platforms, high pressure riser systems and more.”