Britain’s most influential women in engineering are named as research demonstrates a diversity deficit

Almost 90% of engineering firms have no women from BAME backgrounds either on their board or in their executive team

EXECUTIVE SEARCH firm Inclusive Boards this week released research showing women make up only 13% of board and executive positions within the engineering sector. 

This lags behind FTSE 100 companies where 24% of such roles are held by women.

The report also shows:

  • Just 58% of the top 500 firms have at least one woman in either a Board or executive position, compared with 100% of FTSE 100 companies
  • Almost 90% of engineering firms have no women from BAME backgrounds either on their board or in their executive team. Less than 1% (0.8%) of all executive and Board positions in the top 500 engineering firms are held by BAME women

The list of 100 Influential Women in the UK Engineering Sector will be officially launched next week at the Institute of Directors in London at the Inclusive Boards: Women in Engineering Leadership Conference on October 22, hosted by diversity in STEM expert, Dr Jan Peters MBE.

The 100 Influential Women in UK Engineering list showcases exceptional women role models from organisations such as Arup, BAE Systems, Dyson, Laing O’Rourke and Network Rail.

Jane Atkinson, Executive Director of Engineering and Automation at Bilfinger UK, said: “Having good role models is critical to attracting new diverse talent. In the engineering world, there are many jobs and professions that an engineer can do, getting the public to understand this and show people that anyone can do it will ultimately make engineering more attractive.”

Development Director at Inclusive Boards Elizabeth Oni-Iyiola said: “Engineers have an impact on almost every area of our day to day lives. Those featured today are role models who inspire those around them and demonstrate leadership and influence in the work that they do.”

The extensive research by Inclusive Boards into engineering in the UK explores the composition of the sector and its contribution to the UK economy; current and future skills shortages; the challenges and disparities faced by women in engineering and the challenges associated with Britain’s proposed exit from the European Union. 

Inclusive Boards have also conducted a detailed quantitative diversity survey, analysing the gender, ethnicity, age profiles, and educational and socioeconomic backgrounds of Boards and executives of the UK’s 500 largest engineering firms by revenue.

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