WISE, the campaign for gender balance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), carried out a research that showed the UK is on track to have 1 million women working in core STEM roles by 2020.
There are over 900,000 women working in STEM currently and an estimated 200,000 women with STEM qualifications will reach working age within the next 2 years. The news was announced at WISE 2018 Awards presented by the Patron of WISE, HRH The Princess Royal.
WISE’s annual Awards recognise inspiring individuals and organisations who are actively working to promote STEM to girls and women and drive change. Costain, Network Rail, EDF Energy, and BAM Nuttall were among some of the companies who collected Awards.
“We need UK employers to do more and follow the great example of our Award winners who are leading the way. They have managed to get more women into engineering and technology, removed barriers preventing women moving up through the ranks and seen the benefits of doing so in terms of improved business performance. The great news is that there are more women than ever before coming onto the labour market with engineering and technology qualifications. If employers manage to recruit just half of these women, the UK will have achieved a major milestone,” explained Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive Officer for WISE.
WISE also wants to see an increase in the proportion of girls choosing maths, physics, computer science and engineering, as well as making it easier for women who did not study these subjects at school, college or university, to obtain the relevant qualifications later in life.
“A girl studying A level electronics told WISE recently that she feels her generation is on the cusp of finding new and better ways of creating things – in a sustainable way. Science and engineering and tech are fundamental to the future of the planet, we need women to take their rightful place in creating that new future,” concluded Helen at the end of the evening.