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Ten Steps Q&A

Ten Steps Q&A

Q: Why are there so few women working in science, technology and engineering in the UK?

A: The fact that more women work in these industries in other parts of the world tells us the explanation is cultural. Increasing the number of visible female role models in senior roles in science, technology and engineering companies will make these sectors more attractive to girls. We want girls with ambition to imagine “that could be me”.

Q: How will we know whether the Ten Steps have made a difference?

A: WISE and the Royal Academy of Engineering will work with the signatory companies to share experiences and examples of best practice. WISE will contact all the signatories in 12 months time to ask about the impact within their organisation.

Q: How does this relate to the Your Life* campaign?

A: The Ten Steps provides a roadmap for employers to convert pledges to increase the number of women in management roles within their organisation into a strategy and action plan for achieving results. WISE and the Royal Academy of Engineering have both made pledges to Your Life, as have many of the signatory companies. One of the Royal Academy of Engineering pledges was explicitly about developing the Ten Steps framework as part of the Academy's STEM diversity programme. *Your Life is a three-year campaign to ensure the UK has the maths and science skills it needs to succeed in a competitive global economy. The campaign will do this by inspiring young people to study maths and physics as a gateway to exciting and wide-ranging careers; and by helping employers recruit and retain talent, particularly women.

Q: There are so many different diversity initiatives and campaigns. Why do we need another one?

A: In February, following a meeting at Number 10 Policy Unit to discuss how to get more women into STEM, WISE invited our industry partners to discuss how we could join up women in STEM initiatives to make a bigger difference. The Ten Steps emerged from that meeting. It is not a new initiative – it provides a co-ordinated framework for action by STEM employers based on what has worked elsewhere.

Q: Why does the Ten Steps focus on women and not on other under-represented groups?

A: This isn't about making women a special case or about promoting women at the expense of anyone else. Many of the actions proposed will benefit everyone. We have focused on women because women represent the biggest under-used talent pool within STEM industries in the UK. The points could usefully be applied to other under-represented groups such as people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Q: What happens next?

A: Case studies from signatory companies who have already implemented actions described in the Ten Steps. will be collated and shared on the WISE website. WISE will encourage signatory companies to assess their progress with The Ten Steps by use of a Ten Steps Diagnostic Tool.

The Royal Academy of Engineering and WISE will review progress "one year on" with an event that encourages signatories to share good practice and support and celebrate each others activities related to The Ten Steps. WISE will continue to work with its membership to offer support services and advice that aligns with the Ten Steps creating a common framework for action.

Q: How do I get in involved and what am I committing to?

A: As an industry leader and signatory to the Ten Steps you are undertaking that:
  • You make a public commitment to improve conditions for women working in science, technology and engineering as an essential part of the campaign to attract more girls into the sector.
  • You support the Ten Steps as a framework for companies seeking to retain and develop female talent.
  • You are working with WISE and the Royal Academy of Engineering to achieve better gender balance in the STEM workforce by using the Ten steps to help us recruit, retain and develop women within our own organisation and also encourage others in the wider industry to do so.

To formally become a signatory we need to receive an email of confirmation that you have the necessary executive level support for the project. Including the name and title (usually CEO, MD, or similar) of the nominated signatory. We also need approval to use your corporate logo on all marketing material related to the Ten Steps.

We will in turn send you Ten Steps postcards and posters for use within the organisation and a Certificate for display as appropriate.

You will also receive our Ten Steps diagnostic for use by the team to help measure your current achievements and highlight your future priorities in order to retain and develop more women within your business.

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