Only 11 Per Cent of Higher Engineering Apprentices Are Female – why is this? Is it because females are not studying STEM subjects above Level 2? Is it because they think engineering is a male job role or is that they don’t think women should be involved in weapons development?
Reading the article on challenging stereotypes around the defence sector and apprenticeships in FE News and already aware of issues that exist across the board with apprenticeships in terms of diversity I thought I’d take a look again at the apprenticeship data for 2015/16.
It is interesting that the article states that “we found was that higher-level apprenticeships, Levels 4 and 5, in engineering were a more attractive option for women” – traditionally, higher apprenticeships make up about 4% of the total apprenticeship offer in England. That said, engineering is an area that has a relatively good higher level offering.
I took a look at the data to see what kind of a challenge in terms of who is being attracted to higher engineering apprenticeships the industry faces (unfortunately the data doesn’t show us who applied – only who started).
What the data shows is that 89% of all higher apprentices in engineering and manufacturing technologies in 2015 / 16 were male, with only 11% being female.
So it seems that yes, indeed there is a severe lack of females in these important STEM apprenticeships. Is this where the problem ends though? I dug a little deeper…
When you analyse the data for males and females it becomes apparent that there is a further diversity problem within this with there being much more diversity within males taking up engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships than there is with females (100% of which were white).
There are many reasons to consider a career in engineering , especially if you are female but don’t take my word for it – listen to what plasma physicist, Melanie Windridge and engineer, Faye Banks have to say.