Naomi Climer, who has become the IET’s first female president in its 144-year history, has been an engineer for almost three decades, during which time the proportion of female engineers in the UK has remained at less than one in 10, the lowest level in Europe.
In comparison, 50 per cent of GPs are female. Ms Climer said the lack of gender diversity in engineering means the time is right to encourage employers to ensure they employ more female engineers. She said that introducing quotas for the number of female engineers in the workforce would be one way of doing this.
“Despite the best efforts, there has been little progress in attracting more women into engineering over the past few decades so I feel that the time is right to force action through the use of quotas,” she said
“Diversity is good for the bottom line because mixed teams, whether of race, gender or age are naturally more creative and therefore better able to come up with solutions for the problems engineers face. So, it’s frustrating and disappointing that the sector’s glaring gender disparity has not been fixed.”
One of her first initiatives is to announce new recommendations from an IET collaboration with Prospect, the trade union for professionals. These include guidance for employers on how to recruit, promote and retain more experienced women working in science, technology and engineering roles.