Is the engineering industry doing enough to bring more women on board?

Roma AgrawalLooming highest of all the landmarks that decorate London’s dramatic cityscape, The Shard is the most talked about addition to the capital’s skyline for some time. What is less heralded, however, is the fact that a key player in the construction of the 308 metre, 95-storey skyscraper was female engineer Roma Agrawal. Agrawal won the Young Structural Engineer of the Year 2011 award and has been a finalist in other awards as well.

Having such an influential woman engineer involved in a high profile project such as The Shard has set commentators to thinking whether the engineering sector is doing enough to harness the potential of women. Some firms boast of a 20% female workforce, which is some way above the industry average of 9% in what is a male-dominated sector. Vince Cable recently labelled the UK as the worst in Europe for its poor attempts at hiring women engineers.

So are the industries big players simply not paying enough attention to the huge amount of female engineering talent that is out there?

Jon Yew of PayMatters, a company that specialises in helping contractors manage tax compliance and payroll issues, “Women may see that engineering jobs are plentiful, but they still see a male dominated arena, and that can clearly be off-putting. Couple that with how we have seen that new graduates of both sexes do not receive wide-ranging enough advice about how they can access a sector that interests them, then the problem of getting women in to engineering positions becomes really acute.”

Jon continued “Women who have graduated from university and hold an interest in an engineering career should be made aware that contracting is also a viable route into the industry. Avoiding the rush to jobs via graduate schemes, getting advice from umbrella service providers on how to set-up as a limited company, manage payday issues and taxation queries; contracting paves a way for women to get into engineering that should be thoroughly explored.”

PayMatters are APSCo accredited, professional passport approved and are business partners with the Institute Of Recruiters (IOR). PayMatters pride themselves on being fully HMRC compliant from an employers and employees NI, PAYE and expense perspective. For further information please contact Jon Yew, Senior Business Development Manager on 07818 554041