Achieving gender balance in engineering may take 90 years

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Analysis of the latest data from the ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS), shows that despite an abundance of finance/initiatives to increase the level of female representation within the engineering ‘professions’ (a set of ‘core’ occupations identified by Engineering UK within their Annual – State of Engineering report) – the gender balance for engineering actually declined slightly during the past year i.e. the proportion of individuals in engineering roles that were women fell from 12% in 2017 to 11% in 2018. The gender balance in engineering has increased marginally over the past 5 years it is true (up from 9% in 2013/4), but at this rate of progress it will likely take more than 90 years to reach a 50:50 balance in the engineering workforce. This said, there are engineering occupations in which the proportion of males/females are more evenly matched, as set out within the table below (note here that this is an average over 5 years to account for the small number of responses for many of the detailed occupational groups listed, and as such the overall figure for female representation in engineering occupations differs slightly from the 2018 figure cited above).