There's a huge gender gap in STEM industries, but that also means there's a huge opportunity to change your career and build a future that incorporates women everywhere. All this week, marking International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, we're sharing the stories and wisdom of the global leaders making a difference
Join Marie Claire and Entrepreneur First on Friday 12th Feb at 1pm for a special STEM panel in light of National Women and Girls in Science day. Editor in Chief of Marie Claire, Andrea Thompson, and Co-founder of Entrepreneur First, Alice Bentick, speak to a host of successful female founders who are making waves across their industries.
Here’s a not-so-fun fact: did you know that women make up only 24 percent of the UK workforce in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers? Or that the percentage of women appointed to tech boards has remained largely unchanged for the past 20 years?
In an industry that’s growing exponentially and offering fantastic careers, this a sad and shocking fact. Men, by and large, outnumber women venturing into STEM industries. Which means, as the AAUW (American Association of University Women) puts it: ‘the gender gap is particularly high in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, like computer science and engineering’.
A Chemistry research paper also concluded women are largely underrepresented in STEM fields, suggesting the reason behind this is that women are more likely to ‘step out of the field after studying at university’, whereas men are statistically more likely to remain and forge successful careers in STEM.
Busting the gender gap
Another reason behind the lack of female representation is the worrying statistic that can be found in the pay packets within STEM industries: the gender pay gap. According to the Office for National Statistics, the gender pay gap was 15.5% last year, meaning that, of all employees in the UK, men were earning 15.5% more than women. ‘Women in science are also paid less, promoted less, and win fewer grants in addition to the tendency to leave research earlier than similarly qualified men,’ the Chemistry research paper concluded.
It’s time to reskill and lead the way
The need to break down the barriers preventing women accessing STEM careers and then staying in these industries has never been more urgent. The pandemic has exacerbated the global economy, with women being the hardest hit in terms of job and career security. It’s well documented that we’re in the middle of a she-cession, with devastating figures revealing 47% of working mums have quit or been made redundant since last March, compared to 13% of men. Last November, the female unemployment rate sat at 17%, compared to males at 13%. In fact, according to the Fawcett Society 43% of working women, and 50% of black and minority ethnic working women are concerned about their career prospects post pandemic (compared with 35% of white working men). The importance of women reskilling is crucial to our collective future and career prospects.
How do we encourage women and girls to aim for a successful Tech career?
Simple answer. By making some noise.
This where our Women in Tech week initiative is playing a crucial and timely role.
What is Marie Claire Women in Tech week?
Marie Claire‘s STEM week showcases global leaders at the top of their professional game in STEM. The brilliant women we’re featuring include, Alice Bentinck , co-founder of Entrepreneur First and Code First Girls, Dr Mona Kab Omir, co-founder of Vatic and founder of the fast COVID test, and Alice Pelton, co-founder of The Lowdown, the first contraception review platform.
Our initiative marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11. Not heard of it? The International Day of Women and Girls in Science was implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women. The aim of the day is simple: to promote ‘full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls’.
Keen to make the transition yourself?
Step away from this week equipped with expert advice on how to navigate a successful career within STEM, plus full insight into the skills you need to thrive in a rapidly-changing, post-COVID world. Join us as we share interviews, advice, top tips, and more.
Whether you’re keen to read all about the pandemic-fighting doctors who created the fast COVID test; the health tech innovator who’s designed the first contraception review platform aimed to close the gender data gap; or the STEM investor making tech careers possible for those who otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance – you’ll be spoilt for career inspiration.
Meet our awesome STEM pioneers online
The pandemic-fighting doctor
Dr Mona Kab Omir, co-founder of Vatic.
‘We’ve created a Covid test that’s fast and unique’
The STEM investor
Alice Bentinck – Co-founder of Entrepreneur First and Code First Girls.
‘A tech career is where you can make a real impact’
The trailblazing tech CEO
Cecilia Harvey – Founder and Chair of Women Tech Today and CEO of Hyve Dynamics.
‘The biggest challenge to young women is ourselves’
The world-beating scientist
Hana Janebdar – founder of Juno, the at-home vaginal wellness test.
‘My DIY test will transform women’s reproductive health’
The femtech innovators
‘We’re using tech to take on the gender health gap’
The innovative tech company director
‘‘We have an individual responsibility to ensure that change happens’
In addition to all this, head over to Instagram as our editor-in-chief Andrea Thompson interviews some of the STEM industry’s most groundbreaking female leaders throughout the week.
Or, you can join Marie Claire and Entrepreneur First on Friday 12th Feb for a special STEM panel in light of National Women and Girls in Science day. MC Editor in Chief Andrea Thompson and co-founder of Entrepreneur First Alice Bentick will be speaking to a host of successful female founders who are making waves across their industries.
* Join the conversation over on @marieclaireuk and follow #WomenInTech on all platforms