This year, Friday 20th November officially marks Equal Pay Day 2020 in the UK – the day in the year where women effectively start working for free.
The gender pay gap in the UK has been steadily closing, with the ONS stating that the average gender pay gap among all workers has decreased from 17.4% to 15.5% in the last year. For those in full-time employment, the gender pay gap has dropped to 7.4% for the first time in over two decades. Aside from women generally being underrepresented in senior roles across all trades and industries, other reasons for the wage disparity include women working in lower-paid jobs and being more likely to work part-time as they shoulder the majority of childcare responsibilities.
Fifty years on from the Equal Pay Act 1970, the gender pay gap is at a record low, with Equal Pay Day having moved six days later in the year, compared to 14th November in 2019. In light of this, Dickies Workwear has explored the best regions for women seeking careers in engineering.
Defying Gender Stereotypes
Women continue to break down stereotypes within male-dominated industries – such as construction, agriculture, manufacturing and engineering – taking on roles they wouldn’t have been able to in the past. As a result, the number of women working in skilled trades has begun to increase steadily.
Women in STEM
Women are still under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sectors, while the STEM gender pay gap continues to be quite large in comparison to other industries. Despite this, research from Dickies Workwear reveals Scotland is the number 1 region in the UK for women pursuing careers in engineering, followed by the East Midlands and London.
Best Regions for Women in Engineering
- East Midlands
- North East
- West Midlands
- North West
- South West
- Yorkshire & The Humber
- South East
There are few engineering businesses in the North (6 in total), and women generally have the potential to earn more working in the North West, rather than the North East, in these businesses. Due to lower house prices and cost of living, however, the North East remains the better choice between the two.
The South East is the worst choice for women pursuing a career in engineering, with a small number of engineering businesses (9) and a high average general weekly cost of living (£565.80).
For the best regions for women in other male-dominated fields, more information can be found on the Dickies Workwear blog here: https://www.dickiesworkwear.com/uk/blog/best-cities-for-tradeswomen.