International Women in Engineering Day is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to women in this exciting industry. The annual event celebrates the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world.
This year’s day lands on 23rd June and the theme is #EngineeringHeroes. Not just in response to the pandemic, but also to support lives and livelihoods every day. The best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, who recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution; who undertake everyday ‘heroics’ as much as emergency ones – today is about you!
Across Cordant Group, Engineering is a core sector for many of our brands. Therefore, we feel it is our duty to support the gender imbalance and help attract more women into the engineering profession.
How do Cordant Group Support Diversity?
We are active members of the Women’s Engineering Society to support tackling gender diversity in engineering recruitment. We are working to address this issue through our three-part strategy.
Gender-coded job adverts
As a business, we are supporting diversity in the sector by delivering ‘gender-coded job advert writing training’ for all our employees. This will allow us to promote all our clients’ roles fairly, engaging with a diverse audience.
A job advert is often the first impression a candidate makes of an organisation, it is therefore vital that it is inclusive. Using language that is gender-biased or jargon heavy can strongly influence how we unconsciously scan, interpret and react to job advertisements. Simply ensuring job ads contain an even balance of male and female coded words and use ‘you’ and ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ can make a significant impact.
Gender action portal conducted research to uncover if gendered wording job adverts actually helps maintain gender inequality in traditionally male-dominated occupations. The evidence proved just that: women were less likely to believe they belonged in a particular job when the advertisement used masculine wording and they rated masculine jobs as less appealing. It is of note that it did not affect women’s assessment of their ability to do the job, but it did lead them to believe they did not belong in that position.
It is clear gender coded language and use of pronouns can heavily influence someone’s motivation to apply. We are hopeful that our research and in-house training will support our clients in finding a diverse candidate pool and future-proof the engineering workforce.
We support candidates through all stages of their career journey, including career changers, returners and new entrants into the industry. We offer a consultative approach; advising on suitable training and qualifications, supporting with CV creation and sharing knowledge on different opportunities across the industry.
We educate the younger generations. We believe the best way to encourage girls to pursue careers in engineering is to show them it can be done. Pre-pandemic, we partnered with schools and colleges to provide engineering female role models alongside employability skills, to help give all aspiring engineers the tools they need to succeed. This is something we fully intend to re-visit now things are opening back up.
Why is diversity important?
Research is demonstrating that having a diverse and inclusive workforce encourages collaboration, fosters a wider variety of ideas and improves a company’s profitability.
To have the best chance of employees being fully engaged with business objectives, deliver new perspectives, skills, and aspire to become future leaders, they need to be embedded within a supportive culture which they can resonate with. Furthermore, having women in senior positions inspires women to join the workforce and junior females in the business to progress.
According to EMSI, only 11.3% of the current engineering workforce is female. We hope that our commitment to supporting diversity will impact a positive change for our clients in the near future.