Women graduates will plan an essential part in any future success in the engineering sector, the EEF has claimed.

The manufacturers’ organisation – formerly the Engineers’ Employers Federation – has stated women will play a vital role in replacing people leaving the industry across the next five years.

Just 27% of STEM technicians in the UK are female according to the EEF, while women currently make up just one in ten engineers.

An open and equal opportunity for all

With National Women in Engineering Day finally here, the EEF are working hard to highlight the importance of women in the STEM industry and is calling for more graduates to enter the sector.

The EEF also found that while the number of girls gaining GCSE’s in physics is equal to the number of boys, less than 20% are carrying the subject on to A-level.

Moreover, just over half of female engineering graduates continue to have a career in the STEM sector, compared to two thirds of male graduates.

Verity O’Keefe, the Senior Employment and Skills Policy Advisor at EEF, said that the STEM sector must find one million workers over the next five years, in order to replace those that are retiring or leaving the industry.

Women have a huge role to play in this sector and the industry cannot afford to see them excluded from the talent pool, she continued.

“Engineering is not ‘just for boys’ – it is an open and equal opportunity to enjoy an exciting, rewarding and creative long-term career,” O’Keefe added.

Higher graduate salaries

WSP Global – who advised on the building structure of the Shard – noted 20% of their engineers are female and that women represent just 33% of its technical workforce at graduate level.

Engineering UK have highlighted that during 2013 only 14.2% of graduates in engineering and 27% of engineering and science technicians were female – meaning the UK had the lowest numbers of female engineers in Europe.

With the average graduate starting salary in the STEM sector being £26,636 – a fifth higher than graduate roles in other sectors – the industry is calling for more female graduates.

Are you a recent graduate looking to enter into the STEM sector? Talk to Discovery Graduates about their latest opportunities today!