The IOP has responded to a Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) inquiry on women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) . Women are severely under-represented in the STEM sector and many organisations are concerned about this, especially given the economic importance of STEM to the country. There have been many attempts to increase number of women in the sector, but numbers remain stubbornly low. Physics and engineering, in particular, do not seem to attract and retain enough women.
The RSE inquiry, chaired by former IOP president Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell (pictured),hopes to develop a strategy for Scotland to increase the proportion of women in the STEM workforce. The report will be published soon and will contain practical advice as to what can be done about this issue.
The Foundation for Science and Technology recently held a related debate on “Lifting barriers for career paths for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)”. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Dr Ellen Williams - Chief Scientist, BP – and Sir Adrian Smith FRS, Director General, Knowledge and Innovation, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills were speakers at the event, which was sponsored by the Institute.
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