Skip to content

CaSE responds to S&T report on women in scientific careers

06 Feb 2014

CaSE welcomes the Committee’s report and urges Government and universities to be ambitious in their response.

After decades of effort aimed at improving diversity in the scientific workforce, women still remain under-represented at professorial levels in academia across every scientific discipline. The Government, universities and the science sector need to act now to ensure a similar report in five years’ time can celebrate significant progress.

CaSE Director Sarah Main said:

“It is simply shocking that such significant barriers still seem to exist for women in scientific careers. I’m delighted that the Committee have called for a review of the academic careers structure, particularly the system of short term contracts, to the benefit of the whole profession.”

“The UK is going to need a STEM-savvy population to be able to make the most of a smart future. We’re currently tens of thousands of people short for STEM jobs every year at all levels. So we desperately need to widen the diversity of people who study and pursue STEM subjects in their careers. The Committee’s tackling of how to make academic scientific careers feasible and attractive to women is one big step in doing that.”

CaSE recognises that the scientific workforce extends beyond academia and diversity is not simply a gender issue. We strongly believe that a more diverse STEM workforce is not simply desirable in terms of equality, but necessary if we are to maximise individual opportunity and meet economic need. CaSE will soon be publishing a report outlining urgent actions to improve diversity across STEM education and the workforce because it is time to move on from messages that say ‘STEM is for girls too’ to action ensuring STEM is for everyone.

CaSE Assistant Director Naomi Weir said:

“Having examined the state of STEM education and the workforce, it saddens me to think of the lack of diversity that we have come to accept as normal. However, the picture is not the same the world over. That is why we are working with the STEM community to put forward urgent actions to improve diversity in STEM.”

Opinion Forum on Diversity

As part of its 2014 Opinion Forum series, CaSE will be holding a roundtable discussion on improving diversity in STEM on 27th February at King’s College London. The scope of the discussion will encompass diversity of gender, socioeconomic background, ethnicity and disability across STEM education and employment. The output from this meeting will be the 2014 CaSE diversity report which 2 will feed in to the material we use to influence political party manifesto pledges ahead of the 2015 General Election. Over 40 member and partner organisations are already registered to attend.