Engineering firms need to be taking more action to harness the skills of women, according to a report from the Women's Engineering Society.
The Stevenage-based organisation claims the sector is facing a 'diversity struggle,' with one-in-ten women perceiving mechanical engineering as being a "man's job."
Around one-fifth believe it to be strenuous and labour intensive in findings for the WES and Direct Line Group.
Chief Executive Elizabeth Donnelly explains what action businesses should be taking: "At the moment, only 12 percent of all engineers in the UK are women and about 20 percent are in the automotive industry.
"We really think that the fantastic skills of teamwork, collaboration, problem solving and thinking outside the box are where women are. The industry would be well-served by having women there.
"In terms of appealing to women online, it's important to make your website more female friendly, such as including more images of women, as well 'gender decoding' job adverts which are often geared towards men."
In a bid to help the industry change lanes and drive awareness of the diverse range of opportunities on offer, experts have teamed up to take a future look at the innovations and improvements which they predict will be a reality by the year 2050.
Motor Network Technology Specialist Felicity Harer said: "We can expect to see thing like holograms, and augmented reality technology go from fantasy to reality, with these set to be built into vehicles to enable drivers to fix minor problems at the roadside with assistance from remote professional mechanics.
"In addition, cars will continually analyse their own internal elements and will know which locations they will need to visit to have a certain part replaced or even have them instantly printed thanks to the evolution of 3D printers.
"In fact, with the advent of driverless cars there is distinct possibility that vehicles will be able to drive themselves to a garage and the mechanic can liaise with the owner via a video call."