Recent analysis has shown that more than 213,000 women are working in research and development (R&D) in the UK – more than anywhere else in the world.
UK employers have hired 67,645 more female researchers in the last decade, yet the UK ratio of women working in R&D compared to men is almost unchanged at 39% in the past 10 years.
The analysis of OECD data by Catax (a Ryan company) shows the UK has 213,856 women working in R&D out of a total workforce of 548,498.
While the UK has the highest number of women working in R&D, in terms of the ratio of women to men, it is down in 12th place.
Argentina has the highest proportion of female researchers at 53%, followed by Latvia with a nearly 50-50 split. Argentina and Latvia are the only countries where the number of women in the R&D workforce is greater than men.
Jodie O’Sullivan, R&D Claims Team Manager at innovation funding specialist Catax, is a Biochemistry graduate who made the transition into a professional services role after finishing her bachelor’s degree.
She commented: “The UK should be proud that it is home to so many female researchers, but there is still a way to go to improve the gender balance. There are still six men for every four women researchers in the UK, a figure nearly unchanged in the last decade.
“Government ambitions to make the UK into a science superpower, with huge levels of investment, means this is an incredibly exciting time to be working in R&D. However, the industry must do more to show it is a profession that is accessible to all, and offering great career opportunities.”
Table 1: Countries with the most female researchers
|Rank||Country||Female researchers |
|Female researchers 2009||% change over past decade|
Table 2: Highest proportion of female researchers
|Rank||Country||Proportion of female researchers |
|Proportion of female researchers 2009||% change|
* Data not available