In response to Antony Oliver's comments regarding the lamentable status of the civil engineer, I would make the following points.
Education is evidently an issue of concern to all the professions - it is in the interests of all employers to have a large, good quality employment pool. But surely the differing standards throughout the country, especially inner city areas, are of far greater significance than the media's current fixation with the exam grades of male and female students?
While it is true that civil engineering is still a male dominated profession, personal observation suggests our record of assimilating women into the industry is good and improving. My experience as a civil engineer leads me to believe that we are fortunate in not suffering from institutionalised sexism or racism, but are readily adapting to the current shifts in social trends.
It is difficult to compare salaries from different professions. Civil engineering is a much broader church and does not imply a certain level of education or qualification. Staff with a proven track record enjoy an equal status and salary with their qualified counterparts. Our industry is driven by market forces and pay conditions and status will always reflect this.
Jim Oliver (M)