This research dealt with the gender composition of postgraduate students and the reasons for pursuing a career in science. Statistics from Russia, Austria and the United Kingdom were analysed as these countries are among the leaders in engineering education. The analysis was at country, university and faculty level. To investigate the university level, data were compared from students’ conferences held in the three countries, as well as the gender composition of postgraduate students of engineering at Saint Petersburg Mining University, Russia; the University of Leoben, Austria; and the University of Leeds, UK. Special attention was paid to the attitude towards female scientists among postgraduate students. The results suggest gender segregation persisted in engineering education in Russia, Austria and the UK in 2017-2018. Gender-based stereotypes persist in postgraduate engineering education: the perception of opportunities and career prospects differs between males and females, as does the motivation to pursue a career in engineering sciences. However, more young female scientists are being involved in engineering conferences.