The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) latest social media campaign #9PercentIsNotEnough has been encouraging engineers to share a picture with their hand raised to the fact that only 9% of women make up the UK’s engineering and technology workforce – and to highlight that engineering is a realistic and inspiring career for girls.
The campaign was launched as part of the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards, which celebrate women working in modern engineering – and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and greasy pipes.
There has been a fantastic response to the campaign so far from both female and male engineers (and non-engineers) across different disciplines and generations. Supporters who have posted selfies and photos include MPs Lindsay Hoyle, Chuka Umunna, Chi Onwurah and Heidi Alexander, Robot Wars judge Noel Sharkey, television presenter Natasha Kaplinsky and tech reporter Kate Russell.
Diversity and inclusion manager at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Jo Foster, said: “Engineering is a fantastic career – it’s diverse and exciting with the opportunity to change lives – and the world. But women account for only 9% of the UK’s engineers, which is a huge problem for a sector with a big skills shortage. It’s also a problem because it means girls and women are missing out on creative career opportunities that also give them the opportunity to improve the world in which they live.”
She continued: “We launched our #9PercentIsNotEnough campaign to encourage engineers to raise their hands if they too think that #9PercentIsNotEnough, and to help highlight that engineering is an exciting and realistic career aspiration for girls.”
The final of the YWE Awards 2016 will take place at IET London: Savoy Place on 1st December with the IET #9PercentIsNotEnough continuing to run across the IET’s social media platforms.
To find out more about the IET YWE Awards, please visit http://conferences.theiet.org/ywe/index.cfm