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The Morson Pledge: We aim to double our female engineering contractors by 2020

Rebekah Valero-Lee diversity

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Morson has launched a campaign to encourage more females into engineering by pledging to double its number of female engineering contractors

Morson International has more than 1,800 female contractors working in various roles throughout the globe. Yet compared to those specifically in engineering, the number of females compared to male sits at 7.5 per cent.

To meet rising demand for engineering skills and deliver the UK’s solid project pipeline that includes Hinkley Point C, HS2, Crossrail 2 and the expansion of London City airport, it’s estimated that the UK needs to double the number of young people entering the sector.

According to figures from the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), female engineers make up less than 10 per cent of the workforce.

Doubling the number the women working in the sector would add an extra 96,000 people to the UK’s workforce.

To encourage more females into engineering, Morson International works closely with the University of Salford and has the Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarship in memory of Morson Group founder, Gerry Mason.

The programme offers annual scholarships to undergraduates across all engineering disciplines to help those who would have been deterred from studying at university by the tuition fees and associated living costs. So far, the Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarship has helped 15 young people and is offering a further 15 scholarships for the 2017/18 academic year.

Professor Haifa Takruri-Rizk, a lecturer in electrical engineering at Salford and MBE for services to women’s engineering, said: “Our female graduates do very well in the world of engineering but we are still wasting a lot of talent because of outdated stereotypes. We need more companies like Morson to work with universities and schools to build a diverse and dynamic workforce.”

The Morson Group is also a partner of the Girls’ Network, which inspires and empowers young women from disadvantaged communities by connecting them with a mentor and a network of leading female role models. As part of the alliance, the Morson Group and Girls’ Network is launching a Salford group in June 2017 to help local girls.

In addition, the Morson Group has published a series women in engineering case studies to showcase role models in the industry who each give a personal insight into what made them choose engineering, their career history and highlights as well as advice to young girls considering their career options and engineering as a route of study.

The campaign so far has featured females working with NuGen, HS2, Costain, Airbus and Hinkley Point C.

Ged Mason, CEO of the Morson Group, said: “Our aim is to inspire the next generation of engineers and also showcase the skills required to work in engineering to help females in other sectors realise what transferable skills they have and their career prospects in this industry.

“Research shows that nearly half of female engineers enter the industry through a family connection, highlighting the importance of role models within the sector.

“There’s also the stigma that says engineering is only for men, which is why part of our campaign is changing the perceptions amongst parents, teachers and young people who believe it’s a male profession.”

Find out the top 10 things we learnt from our female engineers this year here

Or, inspired? Check out the latest engineering jobs now