The engineering industry in the UK continues to struggle with female entrants. According to a March 2022 report, only 16.5% of engineers in the UK are women, and whilst that is a 6% increase compared to 2010, there is always room for improvement. If you are interested in becoming an engineer, then here are some useful tips.
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Research, research and more research
Speak to the right people, seek advice, and ask questions to people within the industry. Speak to companies within the industry and see if they have any work experience positions. Like with any profession find out as much as you can from the people within the role as they are your best sources of information.
Be confident in your abilities
Have a positive ‘can do’ mindset. Push out of your comfort zone as this is the only way you will learn, develop and grow. Engineering can be a fast-paced industry as improvements in technology play a vital role in the development within engineering, there will always be something new to learn.
Unfortunately, sometimes people can turn you off an idea, because of their own preconceived ideals. The engineering industry is still heavily populated by men, and many still think it is a man’s job. However, there’s no reason it must be like this, it’s not a ‘men only’ profession. These stereotypes need to be broken and this can only be done by more women entering the profession and having an impact.
Find a mentor
Find another female engineer that can help support your early journey in the industry. Many people in a challenging workplace sometime feel the ‘imposter syndrome’ – like you don’t have a right to be there. Get this thought out of your mind and find someone that can help support you and give advice. It has been researched that men are generally more confident than women, so be sure to boost your self-confidence. Believe in your abilities and have someone that can remind you of that on the days where you feel low.
Focus on the area of engineering that you love
There are so many different exciting fields to enter within engineering. If you enjoy writing code, or building products, or analysing, product development, there’s something out there in engineering for you. All these areas will bring their own challenges but stay strong, once you find what you love, immerse yourself fully. Having a job you enjoy is the best feeling.
If you require any support, contact various organisations such as WISE that are there to provide advice and further information.