Today is International Women’s Day, where there is a call to action to get gender parity, using the #PressforProgress. It is unfortunate that in many industries there is a chasm when it comes to the numbers of men and women in the same role such as in technical roles and technical apprenticeships.
In 2016/17, there were 491,300 Apprenticeship starts in England, of which 54% were women; but most women apprentices are predominantly in the five lowest paid sectors including health and social care, childcare and hairdressing. The number of women recruited to higher paid Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Apprenticeships, is a very meagre, 10% of IT and Telecoms apprentices, and only 4% of Engineering apprentices. As a result, a female apprentice in England earns around £1 less per hour than men. The imbalance in women to men ratio also continues in Higher Education where around 16% of engineering and technology undergraduates in the UK are female.