Only 6% of professional engineers in South Africa are women. Data from the 2021 annual report from the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) shows the stark gender gap in engineering. Women make up 23% of candidate engineers, or engineers in training, and just 5% of candidate-certificate engineers. This shows a dire need to support more women in the sector.
In their digital publication ‘Female engineers 2021’ , ECSA points out that women are deterred from participation in the male-dominated engineering field, but that numbers are rising with each year. They also note that the industry needs to do more to promote gender equality. Their publication profiles women engineers dedicated to advancing gender equality in the sector. Each engineer in the book discusses her professional background, career highlights, and key challenges that face women in the industry.
Corporate support for women in engineering
Defy South Africa has embarked on a mission to support gender equality in the ICT sector. The business aims to achieve this through a project implemented in partnership with UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum. Announced in May 2022, the initiative builds on WE-inTech, a global intervention which offers internships and job opportunities to women pursuing careers in the STEM field.
“Corporates in South Africa need to play a pivotal role in addressing and transforming the gender gap across STEM, especially those who do business in the sector,” said CEO of Defy Appliances, Mustafa Soylu during the launch of WE-inTech South Africa.
The project will emphasise the importance of research and development (R&D), encourage young women to pursue careers in related fields, and implement a long-term and effective programme to increase women’s participation in new generation R&D. The initiative demonstrates Defy’s commitment to giving back to South Africa and that the business is an ally to women in their educational and professional journeys.