Engineering needs greater female representation

Efforts need to be intensified to promote gender equality and encourage more women to enter engineering careers, whether through educational programs, awareness campaigns and inclusion policies

Brazilian engineering is renowned for its human and technical knowledge. However, it is still necessary to advance in an important issue of professional inclusion: female participation. Despite constant advances in the growth of the number of women in civil construction, gender inequality in the sector is still quite considerable. According to the report for the professional staff prepared by the Federal Council of Engineering and Agronomy (Confea), the number of registered active professionals is 1,065,143. Of these, only 208,148 are women, which represents 19.54% of all professionals.

In Brazil, the low female representation in engineering and equipment areas can be attributed to different factors, such as gender stereotypes and non-inclusive work environments. However, efforts are being made and need to be intensified to promote gender equality and encourage more women to enter engineering careers, either through educational programs, awareness campaigns and inclusion policies.

According to Sienge, to increase the participation of women in this profession, society as a whole needs to make an effort and review some concepts, such as encouraging them from childhood, improving the mentality of contractors, having healthier work environments, encouraging dialogue between teams, qualification and dissemination of women’s work.

This low female participation in engineering is not a Brazilian peculiarity. In European countries, for example, the presence of women in this sector is also relatively low, although some countries have made efforts to increase participation by developing incentive programs, affirmative action, gender equality policies and awareness campaigns.

In the United States, female representation has shown progress, although there is still a gender disparity. Women are increasingly present in engineering courses and occupying positions in companies in the sector. Awareness initiatives and mentoring programs are designed to encourage and support participation in these areas.

Participation follows growth of the construction sector

The increase of women in civil construction has been accompanied by the growth of this sector. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the construction GDP grew by 9.7% in 2021, an increase that has been demanding a greater number of professionals in the sector and, with it, opportunities for women have also increased and are being filled by increasingly qualified professionals, both in engineering and architecture offices and on construction sites.

By: Santelmo Camilo