More action needed to support women in scientific careers

Women in Materials
11 Feb 2014

A report has been released following a parliamentary inquiry that was launched in 2013 into the diminishing number of women studying, and continuing to work in scientific fields. The IOM3 Women in Materials group compiled a response and submitted this as evidence.

The report of the submissions and oral evidence concluded that more action is required to encourage women to pursue, and remain in, scientific careers.

Andrew Miller, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee said, "More standardisation is required across the whole higher education sector and that is why we have called for Government, universities and research councils to review the academic careers structure, so that talented women, and men, can have more stable career pathways."

Andrew stated that the onus isn’t simply on recruiting girls into STEM careers - universities have a crucial role to play in continued support of women in scientific careers.

Irene Turner, Chair of the Women in Materials Group said, “The report recognises the need to inspire and encourage young females to choose STEM subjects at an early age. It also recognises that the issues relating to gender diversity are not new but little effort is being employed to address them - there is much work to be done. Finally, there are obvious benefits to be gained, if more females could be recruited and retained in STEM subject areas. Not least that this would help address the shortfall of scientists and engineers currently needed to support the UK economy.”

Further information

Women in scientific careers report (PDF)