The University of Salford has launched a new mentoring scheme to connect female engineering students with industry professionals as part of a bid to bridge the gender divide in the sector.
The ‘Go Beyond’ programme will link up female students in their final year of study with mentors through the University’s alumni and in collaboration with industry partner, engineering recruitment firm Morson Group.
The mentor will assist and support female students to plan their career, provide them with real-life insight into the sector and encourage them to go for their dream job in engineering.
The University said helping young women to confidently enter roles that have been traditionally dominated by males was pivotal to addressing diversity imbalances in industry.
Sam Price, Head of Client Engagement at the Morson Group, explained:
“The concept of ‘seeing is believing’ is extremely powerful, with women more likely to choose careers when they’re exposed to scenarios that they can imagine themselves in and to relate to real industry role models. Go Beyond supports our ambition to improve role model access and visibility.”
Research shows that there are now more than one million women in the UK working in STEM roles, but there is still a significant gender gap in engineering and manufacturing. Currently, just 12 per cent of those working in engineering occupations in the UK are women.
In related news, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has launched the call for entries for its 2021 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards.
The awards celebrate women working in modern engineering and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men.
Jo Foster, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the IET, said:
“We want to make clear that engineering is a fantastic career for women. Outdated views and stereotypes are damaging to the industry, especially when there is a significant shortage of engineers, which poses a serious threat to the economy.
“The Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards showcases some of the best female engineering talents in this country, hopefully encouraging the next generation to get excited about the possibility of an engineering career.”