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New poll finds engineering is still considered a ‘male’ profession

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: May 29, 2014

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A new survey by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that the majority of the public still consider engineering as a ‘male’ profession, the findings coincide with the appointment of the Institution’s new President Group Captain Mark Hunt, who has vowed to encourage greater diversity during his tenure.

According to the survey, 66% of the public associate the term ‘engineer’ more with men, with just 27% saying they associated the term equally with men and women. According to the poll, 40% of the public think the current image of engineering is deterring women from the profession, compared with 21% saying it is deterring both men and women.

Mark, who today (28 May 2014) became the youngest ever President in the Institution’s 167-year history, said:

“I want to use my year as President to demonstrate what engineers have to offer society, and to broaden public awareness of how engineers are improving the world we live in. I also want to help galvanise action to inspire the next generation of engineering innovators and work hard to encourage more diversity in the industry.”

“Women still make up a worrying low proportion of the engineering workforce, at 6%, and I am determined to help break down the stereotypes that are putting women off joining this vibrant and exciting profession.

“My challenge to every engineer is to ask themselves what they have done today to improve society and then to tell someone about it. We need to be proud of our engineering achievements.”

Mark is the first Royal Air Force Officer to be President and succeeds Patrick Kniveton, Head of Engineering Improvement at Rolls-Royce Marine Power, who became President in 2013.

Mark has been an Engineer Officer in the RAF for 20 years. He has a background in airworthiness and safety and has served widely, including 4 tours in Afghanistan.

Mark is now the Type Airworthiness Authority for the Royal Air Force’s intelligence gathering, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance fleets of Sentinel and Sentry aircraft. His last role was as Chief Air Engineer at the Royal Air Force’s largest main operating base, Brize Norton, home of the Air Transport and Air-to-air Refuelling Force and gateway to Defence operations.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, founded by George Stephenson in 1847, represents more than 106,000 mechanical engineers, in over 120 countries, across such diverse industries as automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction.

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