Women of STEM facts

We are now approaching the last few days of August, meaning it is the end of our Women in Engineering month here at Project Start Recruitment. But before the topics around Women in Engineering come to a close, we are a recruitment agency that will continue to shed a light on women who feel underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

University students, particularly women are feeling discriminated against when it comes to studying a STEM course or occupation. STEM women used recent UCAS data from HESA and findings from WISE campaigns, to take a closer look at the key women in STEM statistics.

At Project Start, we wanted to highlight these key statistics.

STEM women featured the imbalances that occur across STEM subjects at an undergraduate level, addressing the gender splits that prevail across the UK workforce within science, technology, engineering and mathematic professions.

According to STEM women, the COVID pandemic is affecting female STEM students, their mission is to address this issue and survey female students and recent graduates with the aim of understanding why there are fewer women working within the STEM industries.

Between 2019 and 2020, the organisation asked respondents a range of questions that have helped gain an in-depth view of the reasons why young women choose certain career paths and the certain hurdles which pop up during their job search.

According to a WISE report, from 2019-2020 just 24% of the UK STEM workforce was made up of women

Key Women In STEM

Which leads Project Start to question, why are young women not choosing a career in a STEM-related industry? Have attitudes changed following the COVID pandemic?

In 2019, STEM women surveyed 176 women studying a range of science industry-related subjects at Universities across the UK and Ireland. The following year, a further 89 women were surveyed studying STEM subjects.

The below diagram shows the course splits for the respondents…

STEM Women University courses studied

Attitudes towards the future of STEM subjects

In 10 years from now, how do you think the gender imbalance will have changed in IT and Engineering subjects?

The students and graduates who were surveyed in 2019, said that they think the gender imbalance in IT and Engineering industries will have significantly changed in 10 years time. Whereas, 56% said that they thought there would only be moderate change and just 1% believed that the gender balance will stay the same.

Of those who believed in moderate change, some issues were raised surrounding ingrained beliefs within society that make a drastic change that’s difficult to enact. For example, society needs to improve before corporate companies do.

The impact of COVID-19

In 2020, many students were affected by this global pandemic many female STEM students and graduates were asked if the pandemic directly affected their job hunting and future career prospects. Over 60% of STEM students and graduates said that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their future career prospects.

Please check out the graph below:-

COVID-19 and job hunting

Many respondents said the job market had become increasingly competitive, mainly due to cancelled internships, opportunities and companies making redundancies. This explains why many young women believe that they cannot be as picky when it comes to accepting job offers.

If young women feel this way, companies need to strive towards equality in the workplace, they need to encourage female STEM students to apply and believe in their abilities.

Please check our STEM Women and how they are on a mission to address the gender imbalance in STEM:  https://www.stemwomen.co.uk/

Don’t forget to check out our other engineering blogs at Project Start: https://www.projectstart.co.uk/blog/ 

As a local recruitment agency, we want to support the engineering sector, especially women who want a successful career in engineering.