Wednesday 7 December 2016

Failure to recruit more female engineers 'harming economy'

Sean Duffy

Published 26/10/2016 | 02:30

Professor Dame Ann Dowling
Professor Dame Ann Dowling

A LACK of women entering the field of engineering is harming the economy, according to the President of the Royal College of Engineering.

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Professor Ann Dowling said a lack of gender diversity is damaging to the pharma, food, IT and biomedical engineering sectors, which are all vital components of Ireland's export-driven economy.

Women account for just 10pc of the engineers in Ireland, and Prof Dowling says that the low number was acting as a drag on innovation in the sector.

"It is no longer acceptable to consider 'the norm of 10pc to 20pc' women as adequate in such a challenging profession that has such a critical role in the economy," Prof Dowling said.

"A recent report by Eurostat showed that 85pc of engineering, manufacturing and construction graduates in Ireland were male in 2014, compared to the EU average of 73pc, which implies the so-called 'leaky pipeline' is an even bigger issue here in Ireland."

Prof Dowling is an internationally-renowned expert on combustion and acoustics.

She will deliver a public lecture entitled Diversity and Inclusion at Trinity College later today.

Irish Independent

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