New inquiry examines equity in the STEM workforce

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Diversity and Inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) has launched its inquiry into Equity in the UK STEM workforce.

Following on from the APPG on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM’s inquiry into Equity in STEM Education that focussed on the education pipeline, this inquiry will examine how the government and organisations employing STEM workers are helping to create a diverse and inclusive environment. This inquiry will evolve the argument from problems in education and the talent pipeline, to examine the reality of the working world. The final report will be launched in summer 2021.

The inquiry was launched in November 2020.

The APPG has published a Data Analysis Brief on the diversity and representation in the STEM (including health) workforce as it stood in 2019. The key findings include:

  • Out of a workforce of 32.8 million people, 5.9 million (18%) worked in STEM occupations.
  • The STEM workforce has a lower share of female workers (27% vs. 52%) and disabled people (11% vs. 14%) than the rest of the workforce.
  • The share of ethnic minority workers in STEM is on a par with the rest of the economy, as a result of a workers with Indian ethnicity being more likely to work in STEM than elsewhere. People of other ethnic minorities tend to be under-represented in STEM.
  • Disabled people of all ethnicities are underrepresented in the STEM workforce. The gap in representation between STEM workers and others, is larger for disabled women than disabled men. While a majority of non-STEM disabled workers are female (59%), only one-third (33%) of STEM disabled workers are female.
  • 65% of the STEM workforce are white men.
  • Proportionally, white women are less likely to be STEM workers than ethnic minority women: 10% of white female workers are in STEM, compared to 13% of ethnic minority female workers.
  • There is little difference in the gender balance of the STEM workforce when the youngest age group (16-29), within which 29% of STEM workers are female, is compared to those aged 30-49 in STEM, a group which is 28% female.

Following on from the APPG on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM’s inquiry into Equity in STEM Education that focussed on the education pipeline, this inquiry will examine how the Government and organisations employing STEM workers are helping to create a diverse and inclusive environment. This inquiry will evolve the argument from problems in education and the talent pipeline, to examine the reality of the working world. The final report will be launched in summer 2021.

The inquiry was launched at an event on 10 November 2020.

The APPG has published a Data Analysis Brief on the diversity and representation in the STEM (including health) workforce as it stood in 2019. The key findings include:

Call For Evidence

Submit Evidence

The APPG welcomes submissions of evidence from as wide a range of respondents in the UK, including:

Organisations who employ STEM workers including from the private, public and non-profit sectors

Organisations that work with or represent current or future STEM workers

Individuals and/or informal groups.

Further guidance for submitting evidence can be found in the Call for Evidence document.

(closes: 17.00, 29 January 2021)

Image credit: Dimitar Belchev

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