Providing equal opportunities is not simply about statistics on how many people you employ in each demographic but rather about the ability to hire the right person for the job description without prejudice. Potential employees should be evaluated for their qualities against the qualities required for the job rather than gender, culture, disabilities and sexual orientation.
Companies can benefit greatly from diversity as mixed teams may be more creative and may be better with coping with different situations. Having different backgrounds and perspectives it is possible that issues are solved quicker in more diverse ways and better solutions are created altogether. Discriminating against any group of people would mean that you are blocking your organisation from access to very valid candidates and from reaching its full potential.
For the past 30 years women in engineering have been an absolute minority at just 9% according to statistics published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). This stems from the lack of female students engaged in engineering, but what can we do to counteract this? First and foremost, there is the need to highlight more female role models in the industry that can inspire the younger generation to take up this profession. Promoting career paths and showcasing successful women, especially mothers, in senior and successful positions could inspire young females to explore their potential, curiosity and passion within this industry.
This along with expos, workshops and showcases in places accessible to potential female students such as college campuses could perhaps spark their interest in the industry whilst increasing company awareness.
Furthermore, to increase chances of attracting women employees, the company should harness an overall welcoming culture. It could also be ideal and beneficial to all employees to offer flexible working opportunities and family friendly measures to make the workplace more appealing. This could also greatly encourage mothers who perhaps are discouraged with time constraints.