19% of the UK engineering workforce is female and this proportion has not varied much in the last 10 years. In technical, professional and management roles, women are underrepresented comprising only 17% of all engineering management roles and 7% of professional roles. To find out more about women in engineering roles go to the EnginneringUK briefing Women in Engineering and Technology (2010).

The sciences

Women account for approximately 42% of the sciences workforce. 30% of establishments employ a majority of women in their workforce. Whilst women account for 59% of laboratory technicians and 52% of laboratory scientists, they account for only 36% of senior researchers and 27% of science managers.

Source: Semta LMI report March 2010 and EngineeringUK 2010

For more resources and information on science, engineering and technology careers go to the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, engineering and Technology. The website includes information on: research; policy and other initiatives; mentoring; women returners; and statistics.


The proportion of employees who are from ethnic minority groups:

Employment of ethnic minorities in the automotive industry in the West Midlands (10%) is higher than average, but the figure is relatively low considering the large ethnic population within the region.

Source: SEMTA 2006



The ageing of the current workforce is an issue for many employers with skilled and experienced workers reaching retirement age.

Nearly half the organisations that have recruited in 2006 have recruited young people (16-24 year olds) (48%). The proportion is highest amongst organisations in the Marine sector (69%). Around a third of organisations (34%) have recruited any workers aged 45 years plus.

The sciences

Employers at 17% of the companies did report that retirement of crucial scientific staff was causing a problem and this is an issue across a range of occupations from senior scientists, managers, laboratory scientists and technicians, researchers and production and design engineers, to sales and marketing staff.

Source: Semta LMI report March 2010, Engineering Skills Balance Sheet Reports 2008, Semta Bioscience Sector Skills Agreement Stage 1 2007 and BMG Research Report 2007


15% of sites have people with disabilities working for them. 13% of employees in engineering are classed as currently having a disability, which is the same for all industries.

In engineering sub-sectors, the percentage of employees classed as having a disability are:

Source: SEMTA 2006