Closing the engineering gender pay gap

The Academy commissioned research to better understand the gender pay gap specific to engineering roles in the UK and to identify effective measures that engineering companies can take to improve the gender balance in their organisations.

Report: Closing the engineering gender pay gap (5.88 MB)

Summary: Closing the engineering gender pay gap (471.73 KB)

Hypotheses and existing literature: Closing the engineering gender pay gap (252.95 KB)

Data analysis: Closing the engineering gender pay gap (2.86 MB)

 

The report includes:

  • The first dataset to quantify the gender pay gap specific to engineering roles
  • Evidence on the underlying reasons for a gender pay gap in engineering
  • Practical recommendations and an action plan on how the gap can be closed

 

Key findings

The gender pay gap for engineers in the sample is smaller than the gender pay gap for all UK workers.

Data analysis based on pay data for just under 42,000 engineers indicates that the pay gap for engineers in the sample is around two thirds the national average.

Although the gap is less than feared, the report finds that closing it will take concerted effort within the engineering profession.

 

The gender pay gap for engineers is largely due to under representation of women in more senior and higher paid roles.

One well-recognised issue that is contributing to the gender pay gap in engineering is the lack of women going into the profession, and while attempts have been made to address this, progress is disappointingly slow.

The report recommends actions that go beyond addressing this initial recruitment challenge to close the gender pay gap through addressing the retention and progression of women to more senior and higher-paid roles.

Transparency of pay structures and grades has a big impact on the gender pay gap.

The engineering gender pay gap is smaller in companies in the sample with clearly defined grades or career levels with pay ranges attached to them. 

Mean Median
4.8% 5.5%

 

Recommendations

There is a compelling case to narrow the gender pay gap for engineers and a wealth of evidence on the positive results that businesses achieve when they have a diverse pool of talent.

The report recommends effective measures that engineering companies can take to improve the gender balance of their organisations including implementing transparent pay structures and grades, reviewing promotion criteria and introducing flexible working options for senior roles.

Understand the causes of the gender pay gap for engineers and which solutions are proven effective
Analyse data to understand your organisation's gender pay gap
Introduce a transparent pay and progression policy and publish salary ranges
Publish a credible action plan 

There is no shortage of advice, guidance and case studies of good practice to support employers with the recruitment, retention and progression of women in engineering. In addition to recommendations listed in the report, there is a recommended reading list for more detailed advice and guidance on how to tackle the issues that contribute most to the gender pay gap.

 

Background to the project

To compile Closing the engineering gender pay gap, the first report of its kind for the engineering profession, the Academy commissioned WISE to analyse the pay data of nearly 42,000 engineers working in the UK, to approximate the gender pay gap for the engineering profession.

Over 30 engineering companies contributed to the research by sharing their engineers’ pay data, taking part in a focus group and/ or commenting on drafts. We are grateful for all their input, without which the project would not have been possible. Please see the report for a full list of all those that contributed towards the report.

The data analysis is based on pay data for just under 42,000 engineers from 25 companies. While it is a large data set, we recognise that it does not represent the profession as a whole. The project was directed by a Steering Group chaired by Jonathan Lyle CB FREng.