Inclusion in engineering for International Women’s Day

In 2021, women only made up 16.5% of engineers and, although this figure has increased year-on-year, the comparative amount is still disproportionate.

An environment where employees feel heard and represented is an environment that will allow for talent to flourish and a business to thrive. As this International Women’s Day theme is ‘inspire inclusion’, the following report from Airmatic dives into why and how businesses and organisations could encourage more diversity in the workplace and how they can inspire inclusion and attract more women into engineering.

Looking at UCAS data from 2023, out of 189,030 applications to study engineering 149,240 were male and 39,800 were female. Females tended to apply to subjects related to Medicine, Social Sciences, and Design Creative and Performing Arts. Whereas for males, Engineering and Technology was the second most studied field after Business and Management.

The UK has been working alongside UCAS to implement initiatives to attract young talent in these industries, most notably through apprenticeships, fast-track study routes and funding opportunities, but it seems as if this won’t be sufficient in attracting and retaining talent.

Gen Z is predicted to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025, demonstrating the importance of adapting the expectations around workplaces. Studies show that 70% of Gen Z would prioritise working for a company whose values closely align with their own. Historically, certain trades, such as engineering may have been perceived by some as unwelcoming environments. These stereotypes have the power to deter women and underrepresented individuals from pursuing a career in these fields through fear of feeling unsafe or uncomfortable.

It is crucial to challenge and dispel these stereotypes through increased awareness, representation and clear communication of business values – to the extent that 56% of Gen Z in the UK are hesitant to take on a role from a company that does not have diverse leadership. Businesses and organisations need to focus on establishing an inclusive workplace culture by implementing robust policies and continual learning and development.

Here’s what to do:

Hire an inclusivity, diversity, and equality officer

If you are unsure where to start within your organisation, help is available to assist you in implementing these changes. Consider hiring or outsourcing an equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) officer. They will implement a harmonious company culture alongside strategic goals and key company policies.

Fair recruitment and hiring practices

When hiring new team members, organisations should comply with relevant anti-discrimination laws and regulations. By prioritising fair recruitment, organisations can access the best talent available, and it can improve employee morale and engagement.

Core values

Reevaluate your core company values and live by them. Think about what your DEI values will be, how you can implement them, and illustrate what your company hopes to achieve and represent within these.

Safe spaces

Create safe spaces within your company’s work environment where employees can talk, make suggestions, speak to their superiors, and provide multiple ways to give feedback. By involving all employees in inclusion efforts, you are demonstrating a commitment to listening to their concerns and valuing their input, creating a more positive workplace culture.


Setting clear expectations about acceptable behaviour at work is not only the right thing to do ethically, but it also prevents discrimination and protects employees’ emotional and mental well-being.

Training and development opportunities for staff

Inclusive training programs can educate and raise awareness around unconscious biases, stereotypes and systemic barriers that may exist in the workplace. This will strengthen team bonding and, through understanding and empathy, ensure that each team member feels included and valued.

Equal opportunity

Promoting fairness and equality in the workplace will ensure that all employees have a fair chance at succeeding based on their skills and performance rather than other factors such as race, gender, age, religion or disability. A few ways you can implement this is through fair recruitment and hiring practices, providing employees equal pay and benefits, and offering flexible work arrangements.

To read more on Airmatic, click here.

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