Engineers touch every part of our lives, from the houses we live in, to the cars that take us to work, the planes that fly us on holiday, the prams that carry our children and the equipment used to help us when we are sick.
Engineers also create the future. They may not always be the bringer of ideas but they are the ones that make ideas reality. They make things happen and they manage the risks.
So we need engineers that understand the whole user group.
We need engineers that can draw on a variety of life experiences.
Women make up 51% of the population, therefore 51% of the user group of the majority of things.
Yet women make us less that 20% of all the engineers across all areas of the engineering workforce and in many specialisms it is less than 15%, with some lower that 6%.
For people with diverse backgrounds it is significantly less. If we look at women of colour, indigenous men and women, people who identify as LGBTIQ or people with disabilities, they contribute less than 5% of the engineering workforce together.
Bringing women in at the beginning is the current area that is being highlighted both with huge amounts of publicity and not insignificant amounts of money.
Yet we are still struggling with what is not only an employment issue but also a cultural one.
These programs are important! We need better visibility in schools of what the workforce of the future requires.
RocketWomen wants to support these initiatives but we also believe there is still a massive gap and a huge missed opportunity.
If we think of women’s employment in Engineering as a leaky pipeline, RocketWoman wants to help plug those holes but we also want to add another tap.
RocketWoman – The Sky is not the Limit!
RocketWoman is about creating change. Both by helping women to return to the engineering workforce and by bringing in new women through career changes and pivots.
RocketWoman is targeting two distinct groups,
- Women with Engineering Qualifications and have never gone into the industry or have had one or more career breaks and are looking to return.
- Women looking to transfer their skills into an engineering or associated role, through a career pivot or jump.
It is not surprising when you look at the figures that there are a significant number of women out there who have done an engineering degree and who have not had the opportunity to use it in a traditional way.
There are women who are interested in engineering but have then been put off by the realities of the industry and have not continued with their engineering career.
Within 2 years of graduating, you are not longer a graduate and no longer eligible for graduate programs.
2 years out from completing a degree, if it hasn’t been used you are no longer competitive and people end up in the vicious circle of no experience, no way to get experience.
At 16 years old we expect people to make choices that will determine what they will do for the rest of their lives. Yet life, creates experiences, knowledge, passions.
In 10 years time there will be jobs we haven’t even thought of yet.
We make it hard to change careers, and we revere those who do because we know how difficult it is and usually expensive.
Women’s careers can be written of at the time they should be making the most impact.
Roughly between the ages of 30 and 40, women face the most challenges and it is not always to do with Children.
At this age many peoples parents are aging, the onus usually falling on the women in a family. Many women have children, which completely changes the family dynamic, especially when society still expects women to do that majority of the childcare activities and sadly even in 2019 women still hit glass ceilings or fall off glass cliffs.