Online sexism in the Engineering industry

Lady in hardhat and camera

With a major skills shortage engineering needs to rethink its image

The engineering industry is one of the biggest providers of jobs in the UK, with 1 in 5 roles being based in the sector. The demand for jobs is only going to grow within the next decade as a further 1.82 million jobs will be created. However, many businesses are missing out on a broader talent pool because the industry is still seen as a male orientated industry.

A recent survey from EngineeringUK has highlighted that a large majority of online imagery depicts an outdated image of the engineering sector, which in turn is putting many people (especially women) off working in the sector.

• 28% of women surveyed have said they believe the industry is too male orientated.
• Search engines and stock images have been found to promote gender imbalance, with just 26% of search engine results featured female engineers.
• One fifth of images feature a hard hat – this is an outdated opinion that perpetuates the stereotype that engineering is simply men on a building, as opposed to showing the full scale of job opportunities available.

Widen your talent pool

It’s clear from the above research that if you use the same old images to advertise jobs, you’ll get the same people responding, but if you try and recruit differently you will open yourselves up to a much wider talent pool.

In 2014 the number of girls gaining physics A*-C is now equal to that of boys, and importantly girls receive a much higher achievement rate.

So if your imagery and brand message reflects that your business is open to both male and female employees you will receive a wider range of applications. A good way to improve your approach internally could be to use ‘Name blind’ CVS. Using this process of recruitment can help create a fairer process for everyone who applies.

When it comes to recruiting for apprentices or recent graduates it’s important to make sure that your recruitment message highlights the job role clearly and does not rely on stereotypes.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK has said:

“We cannot afford to lose would-be engineers by carelessly reinforcing stereotypes and not showing the full scope of careers available.”

Discussing the career progression within the industry is very important and of course, the money available.

Statistics have shown that the average graduate starting salary is £26,536. That’s a fifth more than average graduates. There are lots of benefits to working within the engineering industry, it’s up to your business to demonstrate them.

Helping your business grow

Understanding that your recruitment approach may have to change is one thing, but actually implementing these changes to really benefit your workforce is another.

That’s where we come in. We can help your business tap into a talent pool that you may not have had access to before. This will allow you to choose from a wider range of potential employees that will give you more choice and expertise.

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