Where are all the women in engineering?

It’s no secret that the engineering industry in the UK is mostly made up of male workers, but is this the same throughout Europe? How do engineering workforces compare in other European countries?

RS Components have created a graphic that provides an insight into the number of female engineers in European countries including France, Germany, Latvia and Switzerland.

Throughout the whole of Europe, the UK currently has the lowest number of women working in engineering; only 8.7% of the 640,300 strong engineering workforce are women. This equates to just 55,706 females in total.

>See also: Succeeding as a woman in tech: advocacy is the answer

When these figures compare to teachers as an example, readers can see that females in the UK are not shy when it comes to education-related roles as almost three out of four school teachers are female and four out of five school employees are female. So, why is there so few a number of females in engineering?

Wise and Women in STEM have created campaigns, strategies and tactics to help banish the gender gap problem prevalent in STEM sectors with goals to achieve a gender balance. A few of the main theories to explain why there is a noticeably smaller number of females in STEM jobs than men is gender stereotyping, especially how females become influenced by gender bias at a young age.

>See also: Insider: Women in the technology industry 

In a stark comparison to the UK, Latvia has the highest percentage of female engineers with 30% of their 19,600 strong engineering workforce made up of women. It’s a tight competition between who’s leading the way with the amount of female engineers in France and Luxembourg, as 16.8% of France’s engineering workforce are women compared to Luxembourg’s 16.7%. However, Luxembourg’s female engineer statistics are, overall, more impressive as they have an engineering workforce of 5,700 – the smallest figure out of each of the given countries.

Marianne Culver, president of RS Components, comments on the future of women within this predominantly male arena: “The future of women in Engineering can be very bright so long as women don’t feel outgunned and start to realise, why shouldn’t it be me? I could do this!”

Take a look at the graphic to see which countries are successfully attracting the most women into engineering roles.


The Women in IT Awards is the technology world’s most prominent and influential diversity program. On 22 March 2018, the event will come to the US for the first time, taking place in one of the world’s most prominent business cities: New York. Nominations are now open for the Women in IT USA Awards 2018. Click here to nominate

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is the editor for Information Age. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and cyber security.

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