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Women in Science, Engineering & Technology

The issue of women’s under-representation in science has become one of increasing concern over recent years. Although the number of women with STEM qualifications is growing, women working in STEM academia remain a minority – especially in top positions. In marked contrast to men, many women with STEM qualifications do not work in STEM areas and are more likely than men to leave the STEM sector at every stage of the career pipeline. Those who do remain in the workforce are still segregated by occupation (horizontal segregation) and by grade (vertical segregation), and are still paid less than their male counterparts. This gender disparity represents a quantifiable loss to the economy and society, and has an impact on individuals, departments and institutions. At the same time, employers in key sectors are reporting large impending shortages of people with STEM qualifications; whilst the need to grow the STEM sector to drive economic recovery has been well-recognised by the UK government. Essential to this growth, will be the realisation of the full potential of the STEM research base, whose excellence depends upon maximising the talents and skills of all its highly-qualified people.

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