Thousands of female university students are writing off potential careers in the automotive industry without even applying, according to the results of a new survey released today by Autocar magazine.

The research reveals that only 3.5% of female university students would definitely consider a career in the automotive industry - although 35% say that they may do so. But 61.5% of female university students say they will not be considering the automotive industry as a future career option at all.

The figures are very different for male students; 61% of them say they are very interested in the motor industry, and 39% say they would definitely not consider a career in the sector.

“It is disappointing to learn that so few female students are considering a career in the motor industry,” said Autocar editor Chas Hallett.

“The industry does have a number of women doing great things right now - for example, Anna-Louise Clough, colour and materials design manager and Lianne Daly, head of marketing, McLaren Automotive and Fiona Pargeter, global PR director for Land Rover.

“There are numerous career opportunities for ambitious graduates, from design through to showroom, and that includes the obvious engineering-led roles but also specialist marketing, public relations, sustainability, accounting, policy, human resources as well as customer-facing opportunities.”

The research showed vast regional differences, at the top of the table more students from East Midlands are looking to join the motor industry, followed by Scotland, North East, West Midlands, South East, London, Yorkshire and Humberside, South West, East Anglia, Northern Ireland and North West.  No students from Wales that responded to the survey are looking to the motor industry for their future career.