Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UK Struggles with Underrepresentation of Women in STEM Professions

For a while now it has been commonly known that there is a severe underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering and math. In 2014 it was found that in the UK there were around 4.71 million males working in STEM fields and only 0.69 million women in the same occupation. The vast difference once again shows the proof that the STEM industries are a boys club.

The issue was again brought to light after Nobel prize-winning biochemist Tim Hunt resigned from his position at University College London after making comments about the ‘trouble with girls’ in laboratories. Hunt whilst at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea, commented “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls…Three things happen when they are in the lab…You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry."

This comment, which led to Hunt resigning, whilst causing much outrage, signaled again to many the issue that women are still underrepresented across almost all levels of science. In the UK, women make up just 12.8% of the STEM workforce. This is only up 0.2% from 2012 which hardly going to make a difference. The lack of females in STEM fields has caused great concern in the UK in recent years and it was identified that in order to generate higher numbers of scientists and engineers that the economy requires, then getting more females enrolled in a science course at university and in schools was the key.

It has been found that in the UK, women are under-represented at professorial levels in academic research careers in all STEM disciplines (typically 17 percent less). The proportion of boys is considerably higher too when it comes to undergraduate and graduate degrees in STEM subjects. There are found to be 12 percent more males in undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The comparison can be seen across the pond in America as well. The top computer programs have male dominated courses which has been found to cause confidence issues for the smaller numbers of females who take the course. The confidence issues are seen in the UK too; at A-Level girls were found to lack confidence in science and math even when their results were better than the boys.'

There have been movements in the USA to try and promote STEM fields to younger females in order to boost numbers at college level and this needs to be implemented in the UK and across the world. Increasing numbers of women in science professions will cause more to filter into the industry and start to take down the boys clubs that have moved from the colleges to the top of the industries. This in turn will create role models that younger female STEM enthusiasts can look at and give them the confidence to step into scientific careers.


About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com

29 comments:

  1. The representation of Women in STEM Professions are too low in UK. Only 12.8% of the STEM workforce is carried out by women. This needs to changed.

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    The article on the UK's underrepresentation of women in STEM professions highlights the persistent gender gap in these fields. Factors contributing to this issue include societal stereotypes and lack of role models. The data provided is eye-opening and highlights the urgent need for more inclusive strategies in STEM education and workplaces. Addressing the underrepresentation issue is crucial as it limits opportunities for women and hinders progress and innovation. The UK's efforts to bridge the gender gap in STEM will undoubtedly have positive effects on society and the economy.

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  5. The article "UK Struggles with Underrepresentation of Women in STEM Professions" highlights a persistent issue in the UK and around the world. Despite making up half of the population, women are still underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professions.the article is well-written and informative. It provides a good overview of the issue of underrepresentation of women in STEM professions in the UK. It also highlights the importance of addressing this issue in order to create a more equitable and innovative society.
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  6. The article highlights the underrepresentation of women in STEM professions, particularly in the UK, and the need for a cultural shift in how STEM subjects are perceived and taught. The article emphasizes the importance of encouraging and supporting women in STEM from an early age, both in schools and universities. Comparing the UK situation to the USA highlights the global concern. The call for initiatives to promote STEM fields to young females is crucial and should be a priority in educational institutions and industries worldwide. Increased representation of women in STEM will lead to a more diverse and inclusive scientific community, leading to greater innovation and progress.Lawyer Estate

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  7. Abogado de Planificación Inmobiliaria Fairfax VAThe title "UK Struggles with Underrepresentation of Women in STEM Professions" addresses the pressing issue of underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. The issue is a persistent problem, with a significant gender disparity in STEM occupations. The data provided, revealing a gender gap of 4.71 million males to 0.69 million women, underscores the severity of the problem. The phrase "STEM industries are a boys club" effectively encapsulates the core issue, implying that efforts to address the gender gap have not been fully successful. The term "boys club" adds a critical tone, highlighting the exclusivity and systemic barriers contributing to the underrepresentation of women. The title effectively communicates the urgency and significance of the problem, prompting readers to engage with the content to learn more about the challenges and potential solutions.

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  12. Underrepresentation in the UK has been a significant issue in various sectors, including politics, business, and entertainment. Despite efforts to increase diversity, there are ongoing concerns about underrepresentation in British politics, including women, ethnic minorities, and individuals from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

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  13. The article highlights the significant gender gap in STEM fields in the UK, highlighting the need for a comprehensive and systemic approach to address this issue. The lack of female representation extends beyond university levels, with women underrepresented at both professorial and professional levels. The article also discusses the confidence issues faced by girls in STEM subjects at A-Level. The article compares this issue to the US, highlighting the need for movements to promote STEM fields to young females. It calls for implementing such initiatives in the UK and globally, emphasizing the importance of encouraging more females to pursue STEM education and careers. The article also highlights the need to address gender stereotypes and promote a supportive learning environment, as confidence issues persist among girls in STEM subjects, even when they outperform boys academically. The article calls for a concerted effort to create role models for young female STEM enthusiasts and calls for global initiatives to encourage more women to enter and thrive in STEM fields. abogado de patrimonio

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  26. .divorce lawyer in arlington va The article also discusses the confidence issues faced by girls in STEM subjects at A-Level. The article compares this issue to the US, highlighting the need for movements to promote STEM fields to young females. It calls for implementing such initiatives in the UK and globally, emphasizing the importance of encouraging more females to pursue STEM education and careers.

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  27. It's disheartening to see the persistent underrepresentation of women in STEM professions in the UK. Despite efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity, the statistics remain alarming. We need to address the root causes of this disparity and create a more welcoming and supportive environment for women in these fields. Encouraging girls from a young age to pursue interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is crucial. Providing mentorship, scholarships, and opportunities for career advancement can also make a significant difference. It's time for everyone to work together to break down the barriers and stereotypes that hold women back in STEM and strive for a more equitable future.
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