2015 IET Skills Survey shows STEM industries still stuck in a time warp

This week we welcome a blog by Jo Cruse from the Stemettes looking at the gender gap in the UK STEM sector.

If you would like to nominate women and supportive men who are active movers and shakers in the field of digital creativity to share their stories and thoughts with our readers in the coming months  please do get in touch

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It may have been released on Back to the Future Day – but the 2015 IET Skills Survey shows that STEM industries are still stuck in a time warp.

Women account for only 9% of the UK engineering workforce, according to the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s report. However, 57% of those employers surveyed still lack gender diversity initiatives.

The shortage of skilled engineering recruits poses a serious threat to UK industry – to the extent that 64% of those surveyed claim it is a threat to their business.

Under these conditions, and with gender-balanced workplaces proven to deliver better business outcomes, STEM employers should be tackling the lack of women in industry as a matter of the utmost priority. According to a 2015 WISE report, only 14.4% of the UK’s STEM workforce is female.

In addition, an increasing number of evidence-based studies (such as McKinsey’s 2014 report, Diversity Matters) are providing the hard facts to back up what diversity campaigners have been saying for years – more women in the workplace is better for everyone.

This month’s Ada Lovelace Day celebrations, and recent calls by industry leaders such as Martha Lane Fox for more representation of women in STEM, have further highlighted the urgent need for intervention.

In particular, providing young women with successful female STEM role models is key to attracting more women into STEM careers.

This is a core part of Stemettes’ mission. We are inspiring the next generation of girls into STEM careers via panel events, hackathons, a mentoring scheme and “Outbox Incubator”, which creates young female STEM entrepreneurs (girls aged 11-22).

The next challenge? Due for launch soon, it’s called OtotheB – an app which will create an online global community of girls interested in STEM.

We all have a role to play in encouraging girls into STEM – industry, parents, teachers, everyone. It takes a village to raise a child, and it will take a concerted combined effort to raise the next generation of women in STEM.

When it comes to how we start solving the conundrum of getting more women into STEM, we don’t need a complex algorithm. Girls need more female role models, and we all need to play our part.

 

-U96qft4Stemettes is an organisation set up to inspire the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields by showing them the amazing women already in STEM via a series of panel events, hackathons, exhibitions, and mentoring schemes.Interested in volunteering with Stemettes?  We’ve got some opportunities to volunteer on the following dates in London, Dublin and Manchester: Saturday 7th November- London & Dublin; Saturday 14th November- London; Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th November- Manchester

Email charlotte@stemettes.org to find out more, we’d love to hear from you!

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