However occasionally it becomes clear that there is a problem with women feeling they cannot enter a profession because of their gender. Yesterday was National Women in Engineering Day.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), re-launched its 2014 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards. They hope to find more female role models to help address the UK science and engineering skills crisis.
Women currently represent just 7% of the engineering workforce in the UK, which is the lowest percentage in Europe. Unless the engineering workforce can attract more women the UK will be at a disadvantage and find it hard to source the 87,000 new engineers it is estimated the country will need each year over the next decade.
But why are so few women and girls being attracted to a career in engineering? The Government, employers, educators and many young women themselves have cited a lack of female role models in engineering as the main problem.
In the House of Commons women are often made fun of for having high voices
But what about when women get into a career that is male dominated? Women have been entering politics for decades now, yet they continue to report being sidelined and bullied in this environment. In Tokyo when 35 year old politician Ayaka Shiomura stood to speak in a debate she was heckled with "Why don't you get married? Are you not able to have a baby?"
In the UK our Prime Minister told Angela Eagles to "Calm down dear". He was of course quoting the famously hilarious, PC and dear departed Michael Winner's catchphrase. Which makes it all OK. In the House of Commons women are often made fun of for having high voices, apparently it is unacceptable to make fun of Ed Balls's stammer but fine to routinely mock the feminine pitch.
It is not enough to strive to being women in to male dominated workplaces, women are leaving parliament in their droves because male MPs are making it such a hostile environment. Once women are attracted to an industry or profession we have to endeavour to make it a place they wish to stay, or the role models will mean nothing.