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Girls encouraged to take STEM subjects

Female Face of Engineering

Geotechnical consultancy CGL is hoping to encourage more girls into careers in the construction industry with a new booklet called The Female Face of Civil Engineering.

Designed to get more 14 to 16-year-old girls studying STEM subjects at GCSE and A Level, the booklet uses the profiles of 10 women from varying backgrounds currently working in the industry to challenge beliefs that engineering careers are not for girls.

The copyright-free booklet is supported by WISE and ICE and includes advice for pupils on how to get into engineering.

Copies are now being distributed via STEM organisations and direct to secondary schools to coincide with the start of the new academic year.

“Women make up barely 10% of the workforce in the construction industry and projections show the UK will experience a serious shortage of engineers in the coming years,” said CGL chairman Nick Langdon.

“The continued low representation of women in civil engineering represents an unnecessary restriction on our industry and the wider economy.

The Female Face of Civil Engineering is an exciting initiative by an SME using its own funds to try and change perceptions of girls thinking of a rewarding career caring for the environment and communities.”

ICE head of education and inspiration John Laverty added: “For many young people seeing is believing – they respond well to practical examples which show the diverse and rewarding careers that are in reach through studying STEM subjects at school.

“This is especially important for young women, who may assume engineering is not a career for them due to outdated perceptions. They need role models and job profiles which bust the myths about who engineers are.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • A general complaint about women in engineering is that woman are only depicted out on site in hi vis and hard hat (and presumably other appropriate PPE), which it is generally felt is offputting to young women. Would it be possible to show a picture of a woman in a smart suit in an office leading a meeting and talking through drawings shown on a computer screen as a more enticing image to young women?

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