Global expert explains why we must bridge the gender gap in engineering - The lack of women studying and working in engineering is inflicting a significant loss on the economy and steps must be taken to bridge this diversity gap. That is according to the President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Dame Ann Dowling, who this week delivered a public lecture entitled Diversity and inclusion: a value proposition for engineering at Trinity College Dublin.
A lack of diversity, including gender diversity, is damaging to the pharma, food, IT and biomedical engineering sectors -- which are driving Ireland’s export economy -- because diversity is a key factor in nurturing innovation.Just one in ten engineers in Ireland is female, while only 6% of engineering professionals in the UK are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds – despite 25% of engineering graduates living in the UK falling into that category.
At her lecture, Professor Dowling discussed some of the key lessons learned from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s diversity and inclusion programme in the UK. This programme, funded by the UK government, has recently completed its first phase and has made notable progress working with employers, UK professional bodies and third-sector organisations in raising awareness, sharing leading practice, and driving change across the industry.There are some important lessons for Ireland.