Professionals Australia has officially opened applications for its Women in Science and Engineering Scholarship to mark International Women in Engineering Day.
Only 12% of the Engineering workforce is female, only 15% of those enrolled in Engineering courses at university are female and only 1 in 10 Engineering graduates are female.
The representation of females varies by discipline. The representation is fairly good in the Environmental and Biomedical Engineering fields with over 40% of the professional workforce being female, but the figures in other disciplines continue to be very low with 29% females in Process and resources engineering, 24% in Chemical engineering, 14% in Civil and Software Engineering and only 2% in Automotive Engineering.
CEO Chris Walton said the persistent under-representation of women in some fields of engineering is one of the major challenges facing the STEM workforce. “If women were to participate in today’s economy identically to men, it would add $28 trillion, or 26% to the global GDP by 2025. An increase of 4% increase in the participation rate of women over the next decade would add $25 billion dollars to the economy. The numbers tell us that addressing the pay gap, high levels of discrimination against women, high rates of female attrition in the engineering workforce due to lack of advancement opportunities and ensuring the engineering workforce is diverse and sustainable over the longer-term should be mainstream economic and workforce development issues and key reform priorities for the coming decade. Our CPD scholarship is just one of the many ways we can support female engineer members in the workforce.” Read our Women in Engineering report here, our Women in STEM Survey Report here and about our previous WISE scholarship winners here.