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Spreading the word that engineering is not just for boys amid concerns from 64% of companies that a shortage of engineers poses a threat to their business – Alison Carr, IET Director of Governance and Policy


Alison Carr joined the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) as Director of Governance and Policy in March 2014. She started her career with the Insurance Brokers Registration Council (IBRC) as deputy registrar, before moving to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, where she worked in a number of areas, including investment business and insolvency policy. Alison’s most recent position was registrar and chief executive of the Architects Registration Board (ARB), the UK regulator for architects.

Alison Carr
Alison Carr

A significant knowledge gap on the vital significance of maths and physics skills risks damaging the UK’s future, according to a new report published by A. T. Kearney in partnership with the Your Life campaign.

Economic growth at risk if we do not encourage more students to study STEM subjects

We need to have more young people studying all of the engineering gateway subjects to ensure that they are not shutting the door on an exciting, creative career in engineering.

There is huge demand for engineers so it is important that young people have the opportunity to continue their studies. The country needs more people studying science and engineering subjects and taking up apprenticeships.

We are at risk of stifling economic growth if we do not encourage more students to study STEM subjects which are crucial to ensuring a healthy and balanced economy.


Research from the IET shows that there is a growing need to change perceptions of what modern engineering is and what it can offer young people, particularly girls, in terms of a career. The key to doing this is by changing the perceptions of parents who are highly influential in their child’s decision making processes and showing them that engineering doesn’t have to be a messy, mechanical or physically demanding career choice.

There is huge demand for engineers. The IET’s most recent Skills & Demand in Industry Report showed that 64% of companies indicated concerns that shortage of engineers would be a threat to their business.

The report shows that females account for only 9% of all engineering and technology employees.

Actions taken by employers to improve gender diversity include (% of employers)

  • Offering equal pay and transparency of policies – 85%
  • Promoting positive attitude to flexible / part-time working – 79%
  • Offering ‘back to work’ advice and coaching – 61%
  • Providing structured career paths with breaks – 60%
  • Sending out female role ambassadors into schools/colleges – 59%
  • Offering additional maternity / paternity leave – 53%
  • Developing campaigns to encourage women into the workplace – 53%







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