Announcements Women

The 100 Most Influential Women in Engineering

Today we are releasing research showing that women make up only 13% of Board and executive positions within the engineering sector. This lags behind FTSE 100 companies where 24% of such roles are held by women.

The report also shows:

  • Just 58% of the top 500 firms have at least one woman in either a Board or executive position, compared with 100% of FTSE 100 companies
  • Almost 90% of engineering firms have no women from BAME backgrounds either on their Board or in their executive team. Less than 1% (0.8%) of all executive and Board positions in the top 500 engineering firms are held by BAME women

Jane Atkinson, Executive Director of Engineering and Automation for Bilfinger UK, has been named number one in a list of 100 Influential Women in the UK Engineering Sector. The list has been produced by the executive search firm, Inclusive Boards and will be officially launched next week at the Institute of Directors in London at the Inclusive Boards: Women in Engineering Leadership Conference on October 22nd, hosted by diversity in STEM expert, Dr Jan Peters MBE.

The 100 Influential Women in UK Engineering list showcases exceptional women role models from organisations such as Arup, BAE Systems, Dyson, Laing O’Rourke and Network Rail.

Jane Atkinson, Executive Director of Engineering and Automation at Bilfinger UK, said:

‘Having good role models is critical to attracting new diverse talent. In the engineering world, there are many jobs and professions that an engineer can do, getting the public to understand this and show people that anyone can do it will ultimately make engineering more attractive.’

Development Director at Inclusive Boards Elizabeth Oni-Iyiola said:

‘Engineers have an impact on almost every area of our day to day lives. Those featured today are role models who inspire those around them and demonstrate leadership and influence in the work that
they do.’

Inclusive Boards is the UK’s leading executive search agency specialising in attracting high- calibre diverse talent through a network of over 60,000 senior professionals. They operate across the private, public and not-for-profit sector. Inclusive Boards’ cutting-edge research has been featured in The Independent, the Guardian and more.

Additional quotes:

Bridget Rosewell CBE, Senior Independent Director at Network Rail, said:

‘It is not only about engaging women, but there is also a need to engage men more effectively to promote an inclusive working environment. The workplace should be family-friendly by incorporating more flexible working hours. There is also a need to respect and value distinction and difference.’

Rebecca DeNiro, Managing Director UK & Ireland at Dyson, said:

‘Engineering is unfortunately an industry that suffers from a lack of women. Dyson has been championing inclusivity through the James Dyson Foundation and the Dyson Institute of Engineering Technology, recruiting and inspiring young female engineers to help close the gender gap in the industry.’


For further information or to arrange an interview with Inclusive Boards about the list or report, please contact Mariya Green on 07702 814 609 or

Notes to Editors

  1. The extensive research by Inclusive Boards into engineering in the UK explores the composition of the sector and its contribution to the UK economy; current and future skills shortages; the challenges and disparities faced by women in engineering and the challenges associated with Britain’s proposed exit from the European Union. Inclusive Boards have also conducted a detailed quantitative diversity survey, analysing the gender, ethnicity, age profiles, and educational and socioeconomic backgrounds of Boards and executives of the UK’s 500 largest engineering firms by revenue. These findings will be published on the 17th of October 2019.
  2. Full report is available upon request.