Skip to main content

Equal Opportunities

Gender

Engineering

19% of the UK engineering workforce is female and this proportion has not varied much in the last 10 years. In technical, professional and management roles, women are underrepresented comprising only 17% of all engineering management roles and 7% of professional roles. To find out more about women in engineering roles go to the EnginneringUK briefing Women in Engineering and Technology (2010).

The sciences

Women account for approximately 42% of the sciences workforce. 30% of establishments employ a majority of women in their workforce. Whilst women account for 59% of laboratory technicians and 52% of laboratory scientists, they account for only 36% of senior researchers and 27% of science managers.

Source: Semta LMI report March 2010 and EngineeringUK 2010

For more resources and information on science, engineering and technology careers go to the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, engineering and Technology. The website includes information on: research; policy and other initiatives; mentoring; women returners; and statistics.


Ethnicity

The proportion of employees who are from ethnic minority groups:

  • 4% in electronics
  • 2% in aerospace
  • 7% in automotive

Employment of ethnic minorities in the automotive industry in the West Midlands (10%) is higher than average, but the figure is relatively low considering the large ethnic population within the region.

Source: SEMTA 2006


Age

Engineering

  • In England, 43% of the engineering workforce is aged 45-64, compared with 38% in all sectors. Only 8% of the engineering workforce in England is aged 16-24, compared with 14% for all sectors in England.
  • In Scotland 42% of the engineering workforce is aged 45-64, compared with 38% in all sectors. Only 11% of the engineering workforce in Scotland is aged 16-24, compared with 15% for all sectors in Scotland.
  • In Wales 40% of the engineering workforce is aged 45-64 compared with 39% in all sectors. Only 9% of the engineering workforce in Wales is aged 16-24, compared with 15% for all sectors in Wales.
  • In Northern Ireland, 56% of the engineering workforce is aged 25-44, compared with 50% in all sectors. Only 12% of the engineering workforce in Northern Ireland is aged 16-24, compared with 16% for all sectors in Northern Ireland.

The ageing of the current workforce is an issue for many employers with skilled and experienced workers reaching retirement age.

Nearly half the organisations that have recruited in 2006 have recruited young people (16-24 year olds) (48%). The proportion is highest amongst organisations in the Marine sector (69%). Around a third of organisations (34%) have recruited any workers aged 45 years plus.

The sciences

  • 13% of the workforce is under 25 years
  • 56% is aged between 25-44 years
  • 22% is aged between 45-54 years
  • 8% is aged over 55 years

Employers at 17% of the companies did report that retirement of crucial scientific staff was causing a problem and this is an issue across a range of occupations from senior scientists, managers, laboratory scientists and technicians, researchers and production and design engineers, to sales and marketing staff.

Source: Semta LMI report March 2010, Engineering Skills Balance Sheet Reports 2008, Semta Bioscience Sector Skills Agreement Stage 1 2007 and BMG Research Report 2007


Disability

15% of sites have people with disabilities working for them. 13% of employees in engineering are classed as currently having a disability, which is the same for all industries.

In engineering sub-sectors, the percentage of employees classed as having a disability are:

  • 11% in electronics
  • 14% in automotive
  • 12% in aerospace

Source: SEMTA 2006