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Engineering gender pay gap less than feared, but action still needed

New research has found that the gender pay gap in engineering is less than the UK average, but progress to address the lack of women going into the profession remains slow despite the benefits.

New research has found that the gender pay gap in engineering is less than the UK average, but progress to address the lack of women going into the profession remains slow despite the benefits.

According to the Royal Academy of Engineering, which analysed the pay data of nearly 42,000 engineers in the UK, the difference in hourly earnings for all men and all women across the profession is around 11 per cent.

The research concluded that underrepresentation of women in the sector, especially in senior roles, was the single largest cause of the gender pay gap. Just 9 per cent of engineers in the top career grade in the sample were female.

The resulting report makes a number of recommendations to help companies accelerate diversity in their workforce, such as introducing transparent pay and progression policies.

 

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Jonathan Lyle, Chair of the Academy’s Closing the Gender Pay Gap Steering Group, said:

“Reducing both gender and race inequality is key to addressing the damaging shortage of engineering skills in the UK economy. Whilst we are making some modest progress in attracting more girls and women into engineering, our research shows that there remains much to be done to achieve gender equality in engineering careers.

“The good news is that there are well proven steps that business leaders can and should take to improve how women engineers progress within their companies into more senior, more influential, more fulfilling, better rewarded roles. The best, most inclusive, businesses are doing this well, critically underpinning their business success.”

Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive of WISE - a campaign to increase the participation and contribution of women in STEM roles - said:

“This isn’t really about pay, and it isn’t really about women. It’s about good business. Our research found that a credible action plan to address the underlying causes of the gender pay gap helps recruit the best people, engage and motivate your employees and gives a competitive edge when bidding for contracts from public sector clients. The recommendations are relevant to engineering employers of all sizes, whether or not they have to publish a gender pay gap report.”

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