Technical imbalance? An IVA report on gender equality in the engineering profession

Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in engineering are now the only university programmes where women continue to be clearly underrepresented. This is the conclusion of a new report that the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) produced in cooperation with the Swedish Association of Engineering Industries (Teknikföretagen) and the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers.

Interest is slowly increasing, but the percentage of women accepted into engineering programmes is still only between 25 and 30 percent.

By way of comparison, the number of women in MSc economics programmes amounts to 51 percent, in medical degree programmes 54 percent and in law 57 percent. A total of 58 percent of applicants to the 10 most popular vocational education programmes are women. In all technical and officer education programmes there is a balanced gender distribution or women dominate. 

“Women are needed if Sweden is to meet the significant workforce needs in engineering. We want to present the facts and contribute knowledge to create better conditions so that women can further their careers,” says Tuula Teeri, President of IVA.

The report

The report will be a permanent item on the programme during the Vera Roadshow #IngenjörSomVera, which is visiting 12 universities that offer engineering programmes. The name Vera comes from Sweden’s first female engineer, Vera Sandberg, who graduated in 1917. Vera Sandberg was a student at Chalmers University of Technology and was the only woman among 500 male students.

More women are needed in this field – for gender equality, to give people opportunities and to meet the increased recruitment needs. In the report under the heading Technical imbalance? Women and men in engineering, together with the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and the Swedish Association of Engineering Industries, we explore what the situation is like for girls and women in everything from maths studies to the engineering profession. The purpose is to lay the groundwork for further discussion and to try to find solutions to the issue of how to increase the number of female engineers.  Read the report here - in Swedish

Contact information

Katarina Mellström
Senior Director
Phone +46 (0)70-309 22 50