On 23 June 2020, Futures for Women are proudly celebrating Women in Engineering Day. This day is special to us. Women in engineering have and continue to define and shape society as we know it today. Let’s consider, for instance, the role of engineering in infrastructure. Infrastructure attracts significant investment from the UK government to fuel the economy. According to the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan 2016 – 2021, energy and transport infrastructure will amount to £117.4 and £88.4 billion respectively during this period. The scale of the investment importantly reflects the scale of the infrastructure projects, their duration and complexity. In these roles, engineers not only address the technical tasks, but also inform governance, engage with communities and key stakeholders, set priorities and lead teams. Women are key to each of these types of roles within engineering. However, according to the Women in Engineering Society (WES), women in engineering amount to only 12% of the engineering workforce. This means that there is much more scope for women to support the delivery of infrastructure, which can ultimately help to secure and multiply the outputs and outcomes of government’s investment. With more women in the field, the UK can better accelerate the delivery of infrastructure, from new power stations to high speed rail, whilst ensuring that growth is holistic and addresses the needs of the workforce and communities it serves.
FfW’s charitable purpose is to support women with the costs of professional and vocational training, and our trustees will shortly be considering making more grants to support those working in engineering and technology.