International Women’s Day does an excellent job of bringing the world’s attention to gender gaps in opportunity, employment, pay and a host of other areas, and to celebrate this our stat of the week looks at gender parity in an area that has one of the most pronounced gender gaps - STEM fields.
UK STEM industries - that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - have seen a consistent lack of parity in gender employment in recent years. According to a 2018 report from WISE, just 22% of the people working in these industries are women.
That’s a huge divide in an industry that is crucial to the UK remaining a major global player, particularly as we usher in what many are calling the fourth Industrial Revolution. But how many women currently work in UK STEM industries?
Given that WISE has a published goal of gender parity in the industry and 1 million women working in STEM fields by 2020, it would seem we have a long way to go.
Of course, exactly how we change this pronounced gender gap is up for debate, with suggestions ranging from an increase in ethnicity to women’s representation in the fields and people in positions of leadership to advocate for the role of women in STEM fields, to increased educational opportunities and a reduction in bias and outdated cliches about those who work in these industries.
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