Cristina at Ofcom talks about women in engineering
Category: Employer Focus, Gender Focus, Ofcom, technology, International Women in Engineering Day, organisation, women in engineering
Cristina Data from Ofcom tells us about her day at IET's Women in Engineering Day event.
On Friday 23 June I spent a great day in Birmingham at the International Women in Engineering Day event organised by the Institute for Engineering and Technology.
The purpose of the event was twofold: promoting women who work in engineering already, and trying to encourage more women to pursue a career in the field.
Nine Percent is Not Enough
At the moment only 9% of engineers in the UK are women which is below the benchmark for comparable countries. To draw attention to the fact the IET had been promoting the hashtag #9PercentIsNotEnough on Twitter in the months leading up to the event.
Things are starting to improve slowly as currently 16% of engineering students in the UK are women. However this figure still compares unfavourably with the countrie like Poland (39%) and Italy (30%).
Bringing more women in to engineering is key to a thriving and competitive technology industry. Diversity in any sector is important, but in engineering it is especially critical. This is because engineering is about problem solving and innovation so having a diverse workforce can help solve problems by approaching them in a different way.
The STEM Network
There were fascinating discussions throughout the day and a lot of sharing of experiences. I left knowing that at Ofcom we are clearly doing all the right things to support diversity, from unconscious bias training to blind CVs when sifting for the graduate programme.
The event also made me realise the importance of being a STEM Ambassador. The STEM Network is an organisation that provides support for schools,colleges and other groups working with young people who are studying STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). STEM Ambassadors provide role models for young people studying technical subjects and we are very lucky to have many inspiring colleagues at Ofcom working with the STEM Network.
The Ofcom Women’s Network are working with the RACE network to see how we can improve our links with local schools to talk to school children about career opportunities in STEM areas. If you are interesting in volunteering in your local area, please consider joining STEMNET to find opportunities near to you.
Are you interested in a career with Ofcom? Please click here.
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