Women in engineering

Published in March 2022, this briefing summarises how the gender composition of the engineering workforce has changed over the last 11 years. It shows that while the percentage and number of women in engineering has increased, these strides have been concentrated in certain roles and industries, with women more likely to be in related – rather than core – engineering roles and working in industries outside of what is traditionally deemed to be the ‘engineering sector’.

Key findings*

Although engineering remains a male-dominated field, since 2010 we have seen both a proportional and absolute increase in the number of women working in engineering roles.

Analysis of trends in women in the engineering workforce between 2010 and 2021 shows this 6 percentage point increase in the proportion of women in the engineering workforce.

  • In 2010, just over 1 in 10 (10.5%) of those working in engineering roles were women. By 2021, this had risen to 16.5%
  • In terms of numbers, this represents an increase from 562,000 women working in engineering roles in 2010 to 936,000 in 2021
  • Rates of change (in terms of gender balance) are higher at the associate and technical professional levels than at managerial, director and senior official level

Download the summary report

Download the extended analysis

*In February 2023 we became aware of the miscoding of occupational data in Office for National Statistics (ONS) social surveys for data collected from 2021. This will have had an impact on some of the statistics in this report and while we don't expect high level estimates to change, we are unsure of the extent to which the more detailed breakdowns (at 4-digit SOC code level) may be affected. When ONS publish the revised datasets in the summer of 2023, we will re-analyse the data and publish a revised report along with an assessment of the impact.