Supporting Women of Color to Pursue Careers in Engineering

It’s estimated that a staggering one in four women will leave the engineering profession within the first five years of their careers, a rate much higher than their male counterparts.

It’s a shocking statistic and highlights that more needs to be done to support women within the profession and ensure sustainable diversity across the engineering industry.

Studies of STEM professionals have found that women encounter numerous challenges in hiring and performance reviews due to implicit bias.

These challenges are often multiplied for women of color.

A recent report between the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers was conducted to understand and shed light on women of color’s experiences in the early stages of their engineering careers.

The research also found that women leave the workforce at higher rates than men. Given the low representation of women of color in engineering, retention is essential to ensuring diversity.

Encouraging diversity and inclusion is a commercial imperative for many companies stating that diversity is a top business priority.

Yet, the drive towards progress has moved forward slowly in recent years.

With diversity and inclusion seemingly at the top of the agenda, it’s never been more critical to explore the current situation for women of color in engineering.

To attract underrepresented talent and enable it to thrive, companies must begin to understand how to access diverse talent pools.

Hiring processes must be improved to encourage increased applications of qualified women of color to ensure a long-term talent pipeline of diverse professionals and, ultimately, hired in these roles.