Why is it always a ‘problem’ when men dominate a profession, but never a problem when women do? For many years over 90% of psychology graduates have been women, and nobody bats an eyelid.
Four out of seven unemployed people in the UK are men, yet the state does everything it can to drive up female employment, and as a consequence male unemployment. In the public sector two-thirds of employees are women, yet the Equality Act (2010) allows public sector bodies to favour women over men when recruiting – the invidious ‘positive action’ provision, which is positive discrimination for women in all but name.
Decade after decade of taxpayer-funded social engineering initiatives have led to the feminisation of a number of professions which were historically male-dominated, medicine being an obvious example. 70% of newly-qualified doctors today are women. The NHS is in crisis as a result, as we’ve reported on a number of occasions, while 72% of the income taxes which pay for this insane ‘direction of travel’ are paid by men, just 28% by women.
Clearly it would make no sense to increase the employment of women in male-dominated professions which are not currently in crisis. Yet that’s precisely what government, businesses, and professional bodies have long been working together to deliver.
What about the professions which women have long been less inclined than men to pursue? This brings us to engineering, a traditionally male-dominated field, and Nick Baveystock [email protected]. He’s the director general of the Institution of Civil Engineers and is on the board of an organisation called WISE http://wisecampaign.org.uk. From their website:
At WISE, our mission is to increase the gender balance in the UK’s STEM workforce, pushing the presence of female employees from 13% as it stands now, to 30% by 2020.
Our services are designed to build and sustain the pipeline of female talent in STEM from classroom to boardroom, boosting the talent pool to drive economic growth.
WISE, which has nearly 30 years experience of inspiring girls to pursue STEM subjects, now incorporates the UKRC, which had a contract from the Government from 2004-12 to increase opportunities for women in science, engineering and technology through support services to business, education and women returners. The UKRC is now an independent Community Interest Company trading as WISE (company number 07533934).
How precisely might the proportion of women in engineering be increased from 13% to 30% in barely more than six years? Options might include growing some sectors of the economy at such a fast pace that the demand for engineers soars, whilst ensuring the vast majority of the newly-created engineering jobs are taken up by an army of new female engineers, with at most 2-3 years’ experience. Given the current economic climate, and the persisting reluctance of young women to pursue engineering careers, I see these options as being in the realms of utter fantasy.
The only option I can see which might increase the proportion of women in engineering jobs to 30% would be to sack large numbers of male engineers early in their careers, and replace them with women. I say ‘might’ because I don’t have any data on the age profile of the engineering profession. So even such a drastic move might not help us reach the ‘target’.
Let’s do some basic maths, whilst avoiding the tricky age profile issue. By 2020 – little more than six years away – WISE’s ‘mission’ is to more than double the proportion of women in engineering, from 13% to 30%. Put another way, they want the proportion of men in engineering to fall from 87% to 70%. All else being equal, we estimate this would require the number of men working in engineering to fall by 24.2% by 2020.
We’re today making the following public challenge to Nick Baveystock:
Are you aware that by virtue of being on the board of WISE, you’re supporting an initiative with the objective of reducing the number of men working in engineering by 24.2% by 2020? I should like to offer a presentation at ICE to outline why this ‘direction of travel’ will inevitably be highly damaging to the engineering profession, and those who rely upon it.