Chief Executive of WISE
Women and girls want to make a difference to their world. A STEM career is an ideal way to see them fulfil that potential. But we must encourage them into STEM careers, and that needs collaboration from schools, parents, universities and industry.
A girl studying A level electronics told me last year that she feels her generation is on the cusp of finding new and better ways of creating things in a sustainable way. This is so exciting to hear and ties in with our recent research that shows that one of the main motivators for women in STEM is the opportunity to make a difference.
And what a difference! Science, technology, engineering and maths aren’t just transforming the world of work – they reach into so many aspects of our lives and indeed the lives of future generations. I want women to play our full part in this transformation.
This will happen, if we work together
By consistently reinforcing a positive message, schools, universities, employers and organisations like ours can show girls and their families that science, technology, engineering and maths open doors to exciting, well-paid jobs that have a real impact on our world.
Re-training for current employees
We must develop opportunities for current employees to re-train. But we can’t stop there. We need to create opportunities for women who don’t have technical qualifications to re-train, if they wish to.
Some of our corporate members have found a solution for hard-to-fill roles by offering technical training opportunities for women who are already in the business but are in other roles.
Other members have found excellent people through returner programmes. The results are encouraging and we’d like to see such programmes rolled out across the UK so that many more women can be supported to move into or back into STEM.
Gender balance is better for everyone; individuals, businesses and the economy.