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“Must do better”: End of term report on UK’s progress attracting women into science

WISE UK Statistics 2014

The latest statistics on participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) show that women are entering the workforce at a faster rate than men, but the numbers are nowhere near enough to meet industry demand.

30 July 2015

WISE analysis reveals that there are 52,000 more women in the UK’s scientific workforce than there were two years ago. One million more are needed to reach our goal of a workforce which is 30% female.

The most interesting upward trend is the number of women attaining vocational qualifications in a science, maths or technology related subject, which has increased from 8% to 24% of the cohort. Amongst women, the most popular of the new vocational qualifications were Science & Maths and IT & Telecoms. At professional level in technology however, which is a growth market for well-paid jobs, women are losing out to men as the gender gap has widened in the past two years.

The statistics emphatically show that ability of women is not the issue. From classroom to boardroom, female talent shines through. Girls outperform boys at GCSE and A Level, growing numbers of women go on to postgraduate study and high calibre women have been appointed to board positions at all FTSE 100 companies.

WISE has seen an 82% growth in corporate membership during the past year – an indication of demand to reap the benefits of a more diverse workforce. “There are great initiatives out there to attract women and girls into science, technology and engineering, but we are still tinkering around the edges. If we are serious about this, we need a concerted, joined-up approach, based on robust evidence of what works,” said Director Helen Wollaston, as the WISE Campaign published the latest statistics alongside their annual report.

Download the WISE UK statistics 2014

Download the WISE annual report 2014/15

How to engage girls – see People like me project

How to retain and develop female talent in your business – Ten steps

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