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Only 12% of British women are encouraged to pursue a career in STEM

International Womans Day
In conjunction with International Women's Day this year, the government launched a new fund of almost £3m to support visionary female entrepreneurs. Looking to support new scientific innovations, the fund will help support up to 100 entrepreneurial women. However, with such a deficit between the genders in STEM, are the problems deeper rooted than a few million pounds?
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For International Women’s Day, only 12% of British women are encouraged to pursue a career in STEM

Despite this, women populate 57% of British Higher Education places.

Is a lack of encouragement at fault?

MyTutor, the UK’s leading online tutoring platform, unveils new research detailing female experiences at school

  • Only 13% of British employees in STEM are female
  • MyTutor can reveal that similarly, only 12% of women were encouraged to pursue a career in STEM

Government launches new fund of £3m to support female entrepreneurs

In conjunction with International Women’s Day this year, the government launched a new fund of almost £3m to support visionary female entrepreneurs. Looking to support new scientific innovations, the fund will help support up to 100 entrepreneurial women. However, with such a deficit between the genders in STEM, are the problems deeper rooted than a few million pounds?

Third year in row girls exceed boys in GCSE results

Last month it was that for the thirtieth year in a row, boys have scored worse than girls in GCSEs. According to current trends, a girl born today will be 75% more likely to go university than their male counterpart. The population of those in British Higher Education, 57% are women. And yet, of those in the British workforce in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields (STEM), only 13% are female. With International Women’s Day now behind us for another year, it is likely that focus on such disparities much suffer too.

As an inquiry into the root of these disparities, MyTutor, the UK’s leading online tutoring platform have conducted research across a sample of 2083 British adults to investigate their experiences at school.

The UK’s gender STEM deficit:

In the way that Britain’s STEM workforce is only compromised of 13%, MyTutor’s analysis has found that only 12% of women were encouraged to go into a STEM field at school. Further to this, 36% of women did not experience encouragement to pursue Higher Education whilst at school. Clearly a culture of encouragement for girls in school is still yet to be fully cultivated, and could prove to be the deciding factor when diversifying Britain’s workforce.

Class struggle:

Further to encouragement at school, British women have indicated strongly that class and geography has indeed been a determinant to their education and subsequent professional success in their professional life. The analysis has found that 24 % of British women found that their socio-economic class affected their performance in the classroom, with a further 19% stating that their education had prevented them from moving up the socio-economic classes.

The study conducted by MyTutor also found the following sentiments for female experiences at school:

  • 25% agreed that through no fault of their own, their parents couldn’t provide them with the level of education to give them the best start in life
  • 22% didn’t have sufficient access to learning resources, a good standard of teaching and access to opportunities to further their education in the area they grew up in
  • 17% had access to one-to-one learning at school

To dissect the issue further, Nicola Anderson, Chief Marketing officer at MyTutor has provided insight into what can be done to enhance encouragement.

“As in other industries, women in STEM often won’t apply for a job if they don’t feel they’re 100% qualified or have exactly the right experience. As a result, women end up moving horizontally where their male peers progress.

Hiring talent in STEM is incredibly competitive and potential employees choose businesses based on the employer brand and how much they value culture, diversity and work-life balance. Companies not focusing on these things are missing out on hiring the best people.”

If you would like further information on the analysis, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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