23rd June 2021 marks International Women in Engineering Day, a day on which Sony UK TEC wish to celebrate the inclusion of both women and men within the UK’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) sector, as well as to raise awareness of the equal opportunities available to women within its award-winning Pencoed facility.
International Women in Engineering Day is an international initiative celebrating the work and achievements of female engineers. The day provides the opportunity for Sony UK TEC to raise the profile of women in innovation and highlight the career opportunities available.
The UK’s STEM sector has long been stereotyped as particularly male-dominated with jobs in manufacturing, technology, and analytics traditionally being viewed as roles for men. However, with recent reports concluding an increase in the number of women working as engineering professionals between 2013 and 2018 to just under 58,000, it appears the gender gap is closing.
The report which referenced data from HESA, and the WISE campaign, also showed that the number of women working in STEM fields has jumped by 105,470 from 2016, taking the overall total to 900,000. The gender pay gap in the engineering industry, while still existent, is also smaller than the UK average, according to research from the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day, the manufacturing giant, which produces HD broadcast and high definition 4K cameras for worldwide distribution, prides itself on its industry-leading apprentice and graduate schemes. Both programmes provide equal opportunities for both women and men to develop their skills across Sony UK TEC’s diverse professional facility, enabling them to experience all the challenges and rewards of working in a modern manufacturing facility.
Former apprentice and first-level engineer Stephanie Woodhouse, at Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) highlighted her feelings towards the STEM industry, agreeing that it is certainly starting to challenge the traditional male-dominated image. She said: “My team in Sony has seen an increase in the number of women since I joined over three years ago. Alongside this, we also regularly have multiple young women joining us for work experience from schools, as well as summer work placements from university.”
“I think an engineering role can be incredibly worthwhile for both men and women who are looking for a rewarding career. So, I would say go for it! What have you got to lose?”
First-year UK TEC software and electronic apprentice Martyna Duba, also emphasised her passion for women in engineering, stating: “I was so excited to find out that I had secured a place on the programme. It has always been my dream to become an engineer and this programme provides me with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to make my dream come true, regardless of my gender.”
“Thanks to the Apprenticeship Programme, I have met a lot of great people both in the company factory and in college, but most importantly I have been able to progress my career and take the steps needed to become a successful engineer in the near future.”
Jessica Jones, Academy Manager at Sony UK TEC believes: “The Apprenticeship scheme at Sony is an integral part in supporting and encouraging equal gender representation and opportunity within the manufacturing industry. Our focus is not on gender but on developing future talent, inspiring future leaders and specialists to explore and push the boundaries of the many exciting technological opportunities that lay ahead.”
Experts have suggested that a misunderstanding of what engineering roles entail – a “less-than-glamorous” representation of female engineers in the media, lack of retention and progression, and a lack of confidence in their maths and physics abilities – could be some of the things dissuading women from entering the industry, but Sony UK TEC are committed to promoting equal opportunities within their establishment over the coming years so that women and men can achieve their engineering career goals.