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Friday, December 13, 2019

Why More Women are Needed in Engineering

Black woman engineer

Nationwide — Despite the fact that we’ve made considerably more significant strides towards gender equality in the past few years than ever before, there are still a number of industries where there aren’t as many women in the workforce as there should be. One area where the problem is most evident is engineering.

According to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, less than a fifth of all engineers are women. Why does it matter?

We know that diverse teams are better performers. Individuals from different backgrounds bring unique perspectives that lead to unprecedented innovations and solutions.

In the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the benefits of more diversity in a field as integral to modern society as engineering are worth striving for. Provided that we can encourage more women to study engineering, we can benefit from having a more gender-diverse workforce in many ways.

Diversity

Having more female engineers will bring fresh new ideas into the workplace. This can result in newfound solutions to current problems, as well as solutions to problems we didn’t even know we had. Women think differently – and that quality will propel the engineering industry forward.

Severe Talent Shortage

A survey by Industry Week has revealed the average company now has to wait over three months before finding a qualified engineer to fill a vacancy. This is due to a severe talent shortage that will cost the US a potential $454 billion in economic output by 2028.

According to the Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, there will be 4.6 million manufacturing jobs in need of filling within the next decade. Nearly half of those positions will remain vacant due to the lack of suitable candidates. This problem can only be solved by fostering inclusivity and providing equal opportunities for all.

By helping women enter the industry, we can offset the skills shortage and ensure that there’s enough talent in the workforce.

Inspiring the Next Generation

One of the biggest reasons why there aren’t enough female engineers today is the lack of role models. If we help more women enter the industry now, they can serve as strong and successful professionals for young girls to look up to in the future. This will help break gender stereotypes and create a more equal workforce as time passes.

Making a Change

So, how can we bring more women into the field? Aside from creating more role models, we can fight against prejudice and gender stereotypes, as well as ensuring that there is equal access to education.

We can also promote the use of engineering-related software among female students. This will help make the joys of working in the industry more tangible to future candidates.

For instance, students can use PCB (printed circuit board) design software to get a taste of what the job entails. One such example is Altium, which offers an expressPCB custom components library that students can explore to learn more about an integral aspect of the engineering industry.

Conclusion

The problem of gender inequality in engineering is clear. But we know what needs to be done, so it’s simply up to us to take the initiative and make a positive change.

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