Global Women in Engineering 2022 Survey

2 mins read

Farnell has announced the results of the second annual Global Women in Engineering Survey, in the process revealing that all genders share united views on supporting women in the electronics/engineering industry.

The results show that inequality still needs to be addressed and is important to achieving the equal treatment of all, while also revealing that women around the world remain underrepresented in the industry and continue to experience various forms of sexism and discrimination.  

The Global Women in Engineering survey was launched to help shed light on women’s experiences, career paths, wider challenges and opportunities in the engineering/electronics industry and is designed to gain direct insight from all members of the industry to understand current barriers to achieving equality and how to diminish discriminatory practices in the workforce while presenting a vision for the future.

Questions covering discrimination, sexism and equality were added into the 2022 survey as these critical issues were noted as key areas in the 2021 survey analysis. 

Commenting Dianne Kibbey, Global Head of Community and Social-Media for element14 said, “The results of this year’s Global Women in Engineering survey were a strong indicator that the positive trends for achieving the equal treatment of all genders are continuing. Differences in opinion were expressed on the challenges women face in our industry, which could help employers to understand what is working well for women in the workplace and what could be improved. Overall, we hope these inclusive, real-world insights will help organisations around the world to deploy new policies to create better working environments for all.”

Among the survey’s key finding were:

Seventy per cent (70%) of survey respondents said they would intervene when seeing discrimination. However, the seniority of the person exhibiting discriminating behaviour was cited as the biggest obstacle to intervention. A small percentage believed they would not intervene because discrimination or sexism is part of their company’s culture.

Women expressed the belief that they were perceived to be less technically capable than men, but this view was not supported by male respondents.

Men cited that woman “missing out on career development opportunities” was an issue.

It is evident that sexism and discrimination are still occurring, but the situation is improving. Twenty-five per cent (25%) of survey respondents said that they have never experienced sexism in the electronics/engineering industry.

Other discrimination challenges cited some women as obstructing other women in their career progression, although the barrier was not as great as that presented by men. Self-promotion by women was highlighted as a key issue in this year’s survey, both in reference to being discriminated against for not positively communicating their achievements versus the perception of being ‘aggressive’ when doing so.

Genders think similarly about how to address work/life balance, however pay is one area where there is a significant difference in opinion. Men are less likely to say they have seen pay differentials, with 12% of men compared to more than 40% of female respondents.

All genders shared similar views about the enforcement of policies. However, there was a combined decrease in enthusiasm for inclusion and diversity initiatives from 40% in 2021 to approximately 25% in 2022.

More than half of the survey respondents said providing mentorship and development opportunities to women was important. Mentors are seen as the key to ensuring recognition by being advocates. More than three-quarters of women felt mentorship helped them in their careers.

The 2022 survey matches the trends revealed in the 2021 survey, highlighting the positive steps forward the industry has made, however, the report concedes that more has to be done to eliminate sexism and ensure fairness for all.

  • Farnell’s eight-week global survey was open to all genders working in the electronics/engineering industry and launched on International Women in Engineering Day (June 23). Most of this year’s survey respondents (75%) were from Europe and North America with further submissions received from Asia Pacific, Central and South America, China, Middle East and Africa. There was an even distribution of age, particularly from the 25 to 54-years (totalling 74%), and 57% of respondents had more than 10 years of experience in engineering.