Transport Minister Meets Women Engineers

Transport Minister Meets Women Engineers

Rail Minister Claire Perry MP has joined female engineers from Transport for London (TfL), Crossrail and Network Rail who are building London’s transport network, and urged more women to consider a career in engineering and transport more widely. Claire Perry joined the women at Farringdon Station, which will provide Thameslink, Crossrail and London Underground services from 2018.

With London’s population set to grow from 8.6 million today to 10 million by 2030, the Capital will need significant investment in infrastructure to keep London working and growing. Engineers will be needed to deliver the schemes that will be required, however with only six per cent of engineers in the UK being women and the demand for people to fill Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) roles exceeding supply, urgent action is needed to fill the skill gap.

A report by Engineering UK has identified that if more women participated in STEM jobs, an additional £2 billion could be contributed to the UK economy.

The Minister’s visit marked the start of a series of events to inspire and encourage more young women to consider careers in engineering, which are being held over the coming week and coincide with National Women in Engineering Day on 23 June.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “As part of our long term economic plan we are making record investments in roads and rail and I want to see women at the heart of major infrastructure projects like Crossrail and HS2.

“Despite representing half the population, women are still underrepresented in professions such as engineering, surveying and construction.  That is why it is so important that we inspire the next generation of female engineers, building on the hard work of women in engineering today.”

Dana Skelley, Director of Asset Management for Surface Transport at TfL, said: “London will need more engineers by the end of the decade and it is important that we take the right steps now to encourage more people to join the industry.

“Traditionally, engineering has not been promoted to girls as a career option and that is why we as an industry are playing catch-up to bridge the gender gap. We currently have 129 STEM ambassadors across the organisation who go to schools all around the Capital to inspire and encourage the younger generation to consider a career in engineering and transport more widely.  Engineering is one of the few careers where demand for people outweighs supply, and we want to encourage parents of both boys and girls to help their children consider it as a career.”

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “We have to encourage more women to want to pursue technical careers so that the application rates change. If things stay the same, they can’t improve. Diversity and inclusion aren’t just nice-to-haves, they are vital in helping any organisation improve its performance.”

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