Making a Difference – why women in STEM become innovators

Historically, women have played a significant role in building and creating new innovations across all sectors – but somewhere along the line, something changed. During the Second World War and up until the mid-sixties, women were very well represented and were the largest trained technical workforce of the computing industry. However, as computer programming quickly became a more profitable and cutting-edge profession, the culture changed completely, with women making up just 22% of STEM occupations across the UK and just 13% of management roles in science, engineering and technology in the UK.

We want to bring gender parity back to the UK innovation economy. This report shows that nine out of 10 women have experienced barriers to their STEM-career, with over a quarter (26%) experiencing more barriers than enablers. Additionally, six in 10 (66%) of women working in the UK’s innovation economy have had to overcome challenges on their own to succeed in their careers, with just two in 10 (22%) saying they received support from their employers. The top three barriers for women working in STEM in the UK were identified as a lack of confidence (84%), having to adapt to a male dominated environment (75%), and a lack of recognition from senior management (72%).


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