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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

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Key industry players demand more women in engineering – including CSIC Director Jennifer Schooling

 Engineering Change film produced by ICE

A fast-paced, fact-packed short talking-heads film made to mark the annual Women in Science and Engineering Conference pulls no punches in calling for an ‘open and candid discussion’ across the engineering industry about why it fails to attract more women to create a wider pool of creative talent.

Launched on 12 November and produced by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the film, Engineering Change (click here to view), features leading industry figures including Michele Dix from Crossrail 2, Rachel Skinner from WSP /Parsons Brinckerhoff and CSIC Director Jennifer Schooling examining the causes of the shortfall of women engineering applicants and demanding change in the industry. They share their experiences and opinions with 10 other contributors and set out what they think is blocking change and what the industry can do to be more inclusive to ensure it attracts a diverse workforce reflective of 21st century society.

While female applications to ICE are slowly rising, with graduate numbers at 18%, women still only represent 10% of ICE’s total membership and the figure is consistent across the wider engineering community.

In the film Jennifer considers the challenge to attract more women into the engineering workforce: “I can’t understand why so few women go into engineering because it’s such a rewarding career. I think the challenge starts at school and getting girls to see that science, maths and engineering has a future for them.”

Miranda Housden, ICE South West Director and producer of the film, says: “We have talked about changing our profession to be more inclusive for long enough, now it’s time to deliver. We have consistently failed to attract enough creative young people and the UK total of female engineers working within the construction industry is the lowest in Europe. We need to train more women, make careers in engineering visible, compel the industry to generate far greater flexibility in the work place and eliminate unconscious bias against ‘non-traditional’ candidates during recruitment.”

ICE will be releasing more from the contributors as part of the ICE TALKs, a series of monologues and reflections on industry change and innovation which can be found here

Get involved in the debate on Twitter using #engineeringchange

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