From education to employment

Get more women into engineering this International Women’s Day #BreakTheBias

I have always been a champion of women and promoting greater gender diversity in the field of engineering, which is one of the things that attracted me to NMITE, a radical disruptor in engineering higher education in the UK.

It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to get more women into engineering. Having a blank canvas at NMITE has given me the opportunity to put the building blocks in place to prevent biases and to ensure that it is a gender-balanced institution.   While gender diversity and inclusion are key issues that we fight hard to achieve every day, with International Women’s Day just around the corner, it serves as an important reminder to think about how far we’ve come in terms of gender inclusion and equality, while also taking a moment to celebrate women’s achievements and to raise each other up. 

But unfortunately, it’s also a day when we must reflect on all the obstacles we still have to overcome, and the gaps that we still need to bridge. In the engineering profession, there are still many barriers for women, which is why it’s important that we break the bias and work to attract more women to the profession.

The number of women who graduate from engineering is such a small proportion and the number who practice engineering is even smaller. Although professional engineering bodies such as the Royal Academy of Engineering have launched recruitment campaigns and provided resources to educate teachers, parents and careers advisors, there is so much more that can be done, which is why everyone needs to be involved to truly break the bias.

At NMITE our female engineers and colleagues are working on outreach activities, marketing, and student recruitment to ensure we are present and sharing all that we have achieved and can achieve. We’ve also looked at the barriers to entry to higher education, one of which is A-level math, which we’ve removed, to help reduce the funneling that often happens at the admissions stage. We’ve also invested heavily in educational campaigns to ensure that young people and their parents better understand the profession and the opportunities that engineering can offer. 

In addition to these activities, we believe that our pedagogical model, which provides hands-on, problem-based learning across different industries and sectors, will attract more diverse engineers, including more women.

I want to continue to use my voice to help to attract more women to the engineering profession, while showcasing the many amazing ways that engineers can make a positive contribution to society. By working together, we can help to break biases that still exist to allow us to work towards building a better future. We must all be a part of the change that we want to see in the world.

Elena Rodriguez-Falcon Chief Executive Officer & President of NMITE

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