As the great granddaughter, granddaughter, daughter, niece, wife, mother and aunt of engineers, I feel duty bound to investigate the current situation where only 9% of practising professional engineers in the UK are women (Women’s Engineering Society, 2016). My uncle published a book about my great grandfather’s exploits with steam locomotives when he started working at Crewe in 1866 (Burgess, 1983) and I feel that many people still perceive engineering in this way. Consequently engineering is not viewed as a twenty-first century occupation (particularly for women) and the innovative and life-changing work of today’s engineers is not appropriately assigned to the world of engineering.
Futures in Engineering: Informing Policy and Practice and Developing Future Research Agendas via Existing Research
Working with Dr Maria Pampaka, we have been awarded funding by the ESRC IAA to inform policy and practice so that changes can be made to current approaches to the recruitment and retention of engineering students and practising engineers. This will be achieved by reflecting on evidence from our previous and ongoing studies with various groups including industry, academia, schools and interested networks and individuals.
Burgess, H.C.H. (1983). Working with LMS Steam. Cornwall: Bradford Barton Ltd.
Women’s Engineering Society (2016). Women in Engineering Statistics. Stevenage: Women’s Engineering Society.