Tuesday, June 23, was the U.K.’s second National Women in Engineering Day, aimed to bring awareness to the need for more women to enter the engineering field. The day was started by an almost 100-year-old charity named the Women’s Engineering Society, in response to the fact that the U.K. has fewer female professional engineers than any other country in Western Europe. The society hopes to reverse this trend by encouraging girls to choose STEM subjects in elementary school. Surprisingly, the less than 30 percent of female graduates in the developing world study construction, manufacturing and engineering. According to Quartz, Dawn Bonfield, president of WES, said this trend is due to deep-seated, unconscious biases. She says girls face barriers, while “it’s so traditionally acceptable for boys to go into the profession, they are pushed down that route by schools, parents, society — the pathway will open up easily.” WES members believe there is hope, and are looking to other formerly male-dominated professions such as medicine, which has experienced dramatic changes also; 83 percent of the U.K.’s medical graduates were women in 2011.
Read the full story at Quartz.