- June 17, 2018
Recruiting More Women In Engineering and Technical Fields
Recruiting and retaining more talented women into engineering field is imperative to continue future engineering, technology and research and development (R&D) growth. Especially since the Labor Department recently reported the 92th straight month of jobs creation. This lowered the unemployment rate to 3.8% and extended the longest continuous jobs expansion in United States history.
Recruiting Professionals Are Scrambling To Recruit Engineers
During my May 30th appearance on CBS Radio’s WBBM News Radio, I shared the following opinion. We are in a War For Talent with many employers offering new and creative perks hoping to improve their chances of recruiting key talent.
For the last 18 months my entire technical, engineering, scientific, IT (information technology), R&D (research and development) and manufacturing recruiting staff has noticed an increasing staffing demand for qualified engineers. Many of our clients have ramped up their recruitment and retention perks.
Enhanced perks include sign-on bonuses and augmented healthcare benefits. This has been particularly true for engineers where demand far outstrips supply for qualified job candidates in revolutionary fields like AI (artificial intelligence), VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), bitcoin or blockchain innovation.
Women Engineers Leaving Or Not Entering Engineering Field
A recent Harvard Business Review article unfortunately shared many women are either: a) not entering the engineering field or b) are leaving the engineering field at an alarming rate!
The study followed 34 female engineers at two leading chemical industry firms in the UK. These firms tried a variety of initiatives, such as gender-based quota systems for senior posts, flexible work options, and women’s groups for female employees. Despite these efforts, senior managers and HR officers in both companies reported one in three women engineers continued to leave.
In one-to-one, in-depth interviews, they explored why and how women remained in an industry where so many women drop out. All agreed that engineering remains a challenging space for women.
Women Engineers Needed To Fill Engineering Job Vacancies
In emerging technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence employers are struggling daily to uncover key engineering talent. The leading research and advisory company, Gartner, predicts that AI is expected to be a positive net job creator. The field will create 2.3 million new jobs while only replacing 1.8 million jobs.
The fact that AI will disrupt several industries is a given. It will force decision-makers to rethink the way they operate and consider automation to deliver innovative tools and improve the customer experience every step of the way. As a result, engineering talent will be in even higher demand!
Therefore, we will need to do even more to attract and retain key engineering talent. One way to address this engineer problem is uncovering new ways to add and keep talented women as engineers. This can include better STEM education and increased perks to attract females into the engineering field. It also means we need to uncover better ways to retain them when they are in the engineering field.