Women are still under-represented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Even though there is evidence that there are differences in womens participation in STEM by discipline and sector, there is an issue of very high attrition between the stages of engagement with STEM subjects. Although there has been an increase in the number of girls taking STEM subjects at A level, there has been a greater increase amongst boys.
The reasons for this are
- General factors that affect womens participation in the labour force.
- Specific practices in relation to STEM subjects and employment paths As a result, some 76% of women with SET training are not working in SET sectors compared with 51% of men.1
- The gendered nature of specific science disciplines which tend to be self-perpetuating and lead to a decline in participation as women progress up the STEM professional ladder.
- Structural reasons why women are less engaged in STEM-related self-employment including the lack of information targeted at science disciplines to highlight commercialisation of science as a viable career choice as well as lack of dedicated funds to promote women technology entrepreneurs.