A lack of senior engineers and in particular, a serious shortage of female engineers, has been a common theme in recent years.

The figures make for disappointing reading when it comes to female engineers. The United Kingdom is falling behind many of its European neighbours when it comes to attracting women into the industry.

However, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation chairman, Lord Browne of Madingley, has called on parents to take a fresh look at engineering and encourage their sons and daughters into the profession.

“Our research shows that parents are reluctant for their daughters to enter the field of engineering. They believe other subjects offer better opportunities,” said Lord Browne.

The QEPrize survey found that parents of girls aged between five and 18 are still inclined to encourage their daughters to study subjects other than engineering and science.

The facts regarding female engineers in 2013

4,228 girls applied to read engineering at university.
28,020 boys applied to read engineering at university.

The facts regarding female engineers in 2014

70% of parents believe their daughters are interested in art.
60% say they are more interested in literature.
18% said their daughters are interested in engineering.
10% said they ever discussed science and engineering.

Lord Browne said; “Engineering is key to helping the country maintain its competitiveness in the global marketplace. It is absolutely critical that girls and their parents are aware of the opportunities and breadth of experience that a career in engineering can offer.

We need talented, skilled and enthusiastic people to continue our proud tradition as an engineering nation. I want to see today’s men and women become the world-class engineers of tomorrow.”

What is the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

The QE Prize is a £1m global award which acknowledges and celebrates the engineers responsible for a ground-breaking innovation in engineering that has been of global benefit to humanity.

Launched in 2011, the award’s inaugural winners were Robert Kahn, Vint Cerf and Louis Pouzin, who were recognised for their contributions to the protocols that make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, for inventing the World Wide Web, and Marc Andreessen, who wrote the Mosaic browser.

If you are interested in engineering or have any thoughts on the subject of female engineers or if you are a female engineer, let us know your thoughts on this subject.

You can read more about the QEPrize here.


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