There is a growing demand for people with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills in today’s economy. It is widely acknowledged that to remain globally competitive the UK needs a Science and Engineering skilled workforce. Moreover, this need must be set in the context of an overall decline in the proportion of students studying Engineering and Technology and a generally poor perception1 of Engineering and Technology careers. There is also a challenge in that many STEM graduates move into unrelated occupations, where their analytical skills are sought after. This briefing paper looks at the potential pool of female employees as a key answer to the skills challenges that the UK faces. Women are one of the country’s most under-utilised resources and this is particularly prevalent in the Physical Sciences and Engineering where only a minority choose a career in these sectors.