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Diversity and inclusion should be on your recruitment agenda

23/06/17 Martin Crapper Managing Director

June 23rd is International Women in Engineering Day which focuses attention on the amazing careers in engineering and technology for women, and allows us to celebrate the achievements of outstanding women engineers. International Women in Engineering Day was set up on 23 June 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary. Since 2014 the day has focused attention on the great opportunities for women in engineering, at a time when it has never been more important to address the engineering skills shortage.

We are in a time when the STEM talent pool is running dry and the skills shortages in engineering and technology grow more pressing. Although numbers are steadily rising, WES statistics show that women are only around a fifth of the UK’s STEM workforce. The WES analysis of 2016 data showed only 7% of girls leave the UK education system with a degree or equivalent level vocational qualification relevant to engineering or technology. The common response is to get more positive female role models into schools and ultimately into engineering jobs. 

Martin Crapper, Redline Group Managing Director comments: “At Redline, we are 41% female employees and 59% male, in a highly technology driven environment. As a specialist recruiter in the technology industry since 1982, we’ve noticed the improvement in ratio has had a very beneficial effect on the business, and we would not be able to grow at 25% per year without considering employees from all genders. We have female specialist technical recruiters at all levels and eight females in key management roles. That’s a huge achievement for us and we continue to inspire and encourage women to follow a career path in technology recruitment. It’s really important to build a deep bench of talented women, especially in core areas of our recruitment business.  This way we have a broader pool of specialists in engineering, technology, manufacturing who can compete for senior and managerial positions which strengthens our success in the recruitment industry.”

Why do engineering companies need more female engineers and how can it benefit your engineering / technology business?

Ruksana Begum, R&D and Engineering Consultant comments: “The UK already has a skills shortage in engineering and technology. As women make up 51 per cent of the available workforce, it is only right that we should extend the world of engineering to develop and utilise their talents too. We need to make sure that in the UK, whatever is designed and built reflects the needs of the diverse population of the UK and as women consumers they are instrumental in making each team inclusive to achieve a more balanced workforce. It is important to remember that both men and women have different skills and this may sound like a generalisation, however collaboration and an integrated approach creates teamwork and these are strengths that many women possess. Therefore the inclusion of women results in a more balanced workforce for engineering and technology companies.”
Ruksana continues: “A leading example of diversity and inclusion is at Schneider Electric. They recognise that embracing diversity unlocks innovation and creativity and fosters collaboration. Schneider Electric has developed initiatives from global and local teams to promote a diverse and inclusive culture, gender equality, women's networks, leadership programs and forums. Thirty diversity and inclusion ambassadors are part of Schneider's network in major countries, deploying the company's policy across the globe. This includes: Diversity days, maternity leave policy, network activities, women leaders events, gender workshop for leaders, women in leadership programs and more.”


Recent gender breakdown of candidates placed by Redline:

*does not equal 100% as includes all fees generated inc retainers

Francesca Stone, Diversity & Inclusion Lead and Sr Talent Acquisition Specialist (UK&I) at Schneider Electric comments: ‘’With diversity and inclusion high on Schneider Electric's agenda, the company has long recognised that embracing diversity unlocks innovation and creativity and fosters collaboration. Schneider Electric want their employees to reflect the diversity of their communities and the customers they serve and as a result, believe that its teams will be stronger to drive the company's future."

What can we do? 

"Experts tell us that there are a variety of things that will help to expand the number of female engineers. For example, we need to encourage young girls to develop their spatial skills, laying the foundation for further scientific exploration as they grow. 

We also need to find ways to help women feel less alone. This includes hosting female-focused engineering interest groups on college and university campuses and in high-technology workplaces and highlighting engineering role models who reflect the true diversity of our population."

Ruksana continues: "All of these things are important, but one of the simplest and most effective things we can do differently is something as simple as richer storytelling. Most people have a very limited understanding of what engineers do – and we engineers and people associated with the industry don’t do a good job of expanding that view.

We need to support and encourage students to build maths, science and engineering skills, but we also need to help them develop a broader understanding of those skills as tools for building a better-engineered world. When we begin to tell multifaceted stories like these, then we find that a much larger and more diverse set of students identify themselves as engineers."

So today why not start telling more positive stories about engineering.

For more information on jobs at Schneider Electric, please click here or alternatively contact Redline Group on 01582 450054 or email