Fewer than one in 10 engineering professionals in Britain are women, the lowest proportion of female engineers in the EU.
The findings are published in a Government-commissioned review, which says more must be done to encourage young people, particularly girls, to take up the profession.
The review says this may be down to girls' A-level choices, their perceptions of engineering and gender stereotypes in the careers advice students receive.
More top news
Wintry scenes with rain, sleet & snow
Barbara Peters has pirouetted her way into the record books after becoming the oldest British woman to complete the elite test.
Emily Maitlis has criticised the criminal justice system for letting a former university friend continue his campaign of harassment.