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Research published today (28 Jan) by the Royal Academy of Engineering indicates that the gender pay gap is smaller in the engineering profession than the UK employee average. The mean (10.8%) and median (11.4%) pay gap for engineers in the sample analysed is around two thirds the national average.

Although the gap is less than feared, the report finds that closing it will take concerted effort within the engineering profession.

One well-recognised issue that is contributing to the gender pay gap in engineering is the lack of women going into the profession, and while attempts have been made to address this, progress is disappointingly slow.

The report recommends actions that go beyond addressing this initial recruitment challenge to close the gender pay gap through addressing the retention and progression of women to more senior and higher paid roles. The actions it recommends as most effective include implementing transparent pay structures and grades, reviewing promotion criteria and introducing flexible working options for senior roles.

Diversity & inclusion: Gender pay gap

To compile Closing the engineering gender pay gap, the first report of its kind for the engineering profession, the Academy commissioned WISE to analyse the pay data of nearly 42,000 engineers working in the UK, to approximate the gender pay gap for the engineering profession. This analysis, with data voluntarily provided by 25 engineering organisations of different sizes and from different sectors, excludes non-engineering roles to help identify issues and challenges specific to the profession. This approach differs from the mandatory gender pay gap reporting to government, which does not identify the professions of individuals in an organisation.

The report confirms that underrepresentation of women in senior roles - rather than unequal pay - is the single largest cause of the gender pay gap for engineers. The factors that most contributed to pay variance for engineers in the sample included career level (40%), type of employer (12%), age (6%) and the annual revenue of the employer (5%). Just 9% of engineers in the top career grade in the sample were female and women accounted for only 8% of those in the upper pay quartile.

Jonathan Lyle CB FREng, Chair of the Academy’s Closing the gender pay gap Steering Group, said:

“Reducing both gender and race inequality is key to addressing the damaging shortage of engineering skills in the UK economy. Whilst we are making some modest progress in attracting more girls and women into engineering, our research shows that there remains much to be done to achieve gender equality in engineering careers.

“The good news is that there are well proven steps that business leaders can and should take to improve how women engineers progress within their companies into more senior, more influential, more fulfilling, better rewarded roles. The best, most inclusive, businesses are doing this well, critically underpinning their business success. But others make excuses about their gender pay gap, risking losing business and talent.”

Helen Wollaston, WISE Chief Executive said:

“This isn’t really about pay, and it isn’t really about women. It’s about good business. Our research found that a credible action plan to address the underlying causes of the gender pay gap helps recruit the best people, engage and motivate your employees and gives a competitive edge when bidding for contracts from public sector clients. The recommendations are relevant to engineering employers of all sizes, whether or not they have to publish a gender pay gap report.”


Closing the Engineering Gender Pay Gap 

28th May 2019: The Royal Academy of Engineering commissioned Women into Science and Engineering (WISE) to quantify the gender pay gap for engineers in the UK, identify the underlying causes and recommend effective solutions. This research project is a key element of the Academy’s diversity and inclusion strategy, which aligns closely with WISE’s core purpose of achieving gender balance in science, technology and engineering.

This research aims to:

  1. build the first dataset of quantified data specific to engineering roles
  2. look at the underlying reasons for a gender pay gapin engineering
  3. make practical recommendationsand an action plan on how the gap can be closed

WISE is currently seeking participants in the research that will underpin this project and would be interested to hear from engineering organisations in the UK. The research has two elements, quantitative and qualitative:

Quantitative Research

WISE is looking for companies willing to provide a sub-set of their gender pay gap data for people employed in engineering roles.

Deadline for submission – 30th June 2019

We will use this data to calculate and analyse the gender pay gap for engineers, comparing the situation for engineers in different sectors.

Qualitative Research

We are looking for individuals from organisations that employ engineers to join a focus group to discuss their personal and professional experiences.

There will be one focus group, held in central London, for each of the following groups of professionals:

  1. 26 June 2019 (AM): HR / Reward representatives
  2. 26 June 2019 (PM): Female engineers
  3. 02 July 2019 (AM): Male engineers
  4. 02 July 2019 (PM): Diversity & Inclusion representatives (either in a full-time role or as sponsors of D&I for your company)

Why get involved?

By signing up to participate in this key research project, you can:

  • participate in a project that will be the first to deliver evidence and narrative on the engineering gender pay gap.
  • be part of the first collectively developed action plan to close the gender pay gap in engineering
  • Contribute towards genuine and sustainable change

Be part of the change we need to make engineering a sector where everybody, whatever their gender, can make the best use of their abilities.

The Gender Pay Gap vs Equal Pay. The gender pay gap is the difference in average hourly earnings for all men and all women across an organisation, a sector, or the economy as a whole. It is an indicator of gender parity within a workforce; the more men in senior positions or in roles with higher pay in an organisation, the larger the gender pay gap. It is different to equal pay which is paying men and women the same salary for the same (or similar) work. Unequal pay has been unlawful since 1970.

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

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Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

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FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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