Plea for women to take up engineering backed by big businesses

The UK Government’s plea for more women to reach top jobs in industries where they are underrepresented has sparked a flood of support from businesses, including engineering companies and organisations.

Employment Minister Esther McVey launched today the #notjustforboys campaign to get more women to break through and reach top jobs in industries often deemed ‘boys club’ in a bid to make the most of the record numbers of vacancies.

She said that women are still underrepresented in growth areas and the campaign wants to “encourage more women to consider careers in science or engineering”.

Businesses and individuals supporting the #notjustforboys campaign include BT, Network Rail, Women in Engineering Society and the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.

The UK has seen the fastest growth in the number of women in work in the last year out of all G7 economies, with a record 14.4 million women in work.

“Up and down the country, women of the UK have been staging a quiet revolution; we’re in work in record numbers, with huge inroads into the top professions,” McVey said.

However, the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that only 32,000 women work as engineers from a total of 459,000.

Users and businesses took to Twitter to express their support for women working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

BT said: “Great to shine a light on the fact that there are many paths to interesting careers for women who want to make a difference.”

Women engineers, like Abbie Hutty who won the IET Young Woman Engineer award in 2013 and designs Mars Rovers, posted photos of them at work posing with the campaign hashtag.

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