The UK is set to join in celebrations for International Women in Engineering Day, the awareness campaign that takes place annually on the 23rd of June. This year its theme is ‘Transform the Future’. 

Sunday will also mark the 100-year anniversary of its organisers – the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), the charity working since 1919 to ensure equality for women in this industry.  

The Day’s main aim is to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the wide range of career opportunities available to females in this sector. 

Organisers encourage individuals and groups – including governmental, educational, corporate and professional engineering institutions – to host their own events in support of the Day. 

Many organisations across the UK are busy doing just that. 

Fully open to the public, ICE North East is holding a day on the 24th of June at Newcastle Arts Centre, where there will be a meet-and-mingle networking session and a panel debate on Transform the Future. 

On June the 27th at Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield a group of organisations will come together to showcase speeches by female engineers, who will discuss their experiences and career paths. There will also be opportunities to network and meet the industry’s foremost female innovators face-to-face. 

At Mountain View Ranch in Cardiff on the 23rd of June, the star of the show will be the 15-metre long model of the Second Severn crossing, along with several engineering-related games designed for youngsters.  

Such events are important in highlighting just how vital engineering is to the UK’s jobs market and economy. The Engineering UK 2018 report shows that 27% of enterprises in the UK are engineering-related and that engineering generates 23% of the UK’s total turnover. It also reveals Britain currently employs an estimated 5.6 million people in engineering. 

Despite this, there is annual shortfall of up to 59,000 engineering graduates and technicians to fill core engineering roles. And with new industries and technologies continually emerging, adding to already significant demand for engineering skills, it’s estimated the UK needs 203,000 people with Level 3+ engineering skills every year just to meet demand. 

It’s vital girls are offered the chance to help boost the sector – and the UK’s further education and training bodies are enabling this drive for gender equality by providing new opportunities for learning and training. 

Apprenticeships, in particular, are a great way to get girls into engineering work. 

These involve combining full-time employment with part-time study, which can mean being allocated one day a week to attend college or university. Assessment is normally done through a combination of coursework and practical exams. 

Last year alone there were 129,059 engineering-related apprenticeship starts across England, Scotland and Wales.  


In Coventry almost 100 engineering apprenticeships are currently available as part of a drive to recruit and train tomorrow’s engineers. The roles are on offer at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, which is part of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) campus in Ansty Park. 

The centre, which recruits every year, is looking to sign-up 96 people in total to start in September as part of a bid to solve the skills shortages in manufacturing.  

Meantime, in a bid to boost equality, the Institute for Apprenticeships is to trial using gender-neutral language to make sure it doesn’t put off women who are considering applying. This comes after research that shows the wording used in job adverts can make the job less appealing to girls. 

Even when starting out in an apprenticeship scheme, innovation will always be at the heart of the daily mission. That’s true whether you’re an electrical engineer focused on eco-friendly energy or a planning engineer designing smart cities. 

Overall, only 8% of UK engineering apprentices are female, yet the fact is females not only match males when it comes to engineering skills, they also bring extra talents. 

A successful engineer needs to be able to communicate effectively. Typically, women are more diplomatic and empathetic, which is of great benefit when it comes to orchestrating teamwork on large engineering projects.  

And, because female engineers have made their career choice based on passion rather than practicality, they are more genuinely inspired by what they’re doing every day. Someone who is motivated daily by a love of their work is naturally better at it. 

So, if you’re a female fired up by International Women in Engineering Day, why not transform your own future right now by learning more about today’s job opportunities online?