Research by WISE, a campaign for gender balance in technology, science, engineering and maths (STEM) occupations, has shown that the UK is well on its way to meeting its target of having 1 million women employed in this sector by 2020.
Currently, there are over 900,000 women working in core STEM occupations, and another 200,000 women with STEM qualifications will be entering the workforce in the next two years. WISE reported that several core STEM jobs could soon boast 30% female employment.
Anne, Princess Royal, is WISE’s patron, and she announced these figures at the campaign’s recent award ceremony. She said that if employers were to recruit even half of the female students currently learning STEM subjects, then the UK’s goal of reaching 1 million women in employment by 2020 would be achievable.
Helen Wollaston, WISE’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “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.”
In addition, WISE wants to see more women studying subjects such as maths, physics, engineering and computer science and make it easier for those who did not learn these subjects at school to achieve the necessary qualifications later in life.