Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has marked International Day of Women and Girls in Science with visit to the University of South Wales (USW) forensic laboratory to meet with a growing number of women working in science, engineering, and maths (STEM) and to encourage more women and girls to consider a career in the sciences.
The facility at USW enables the simulation of a variety of realistic crime scenes – from domestic burglaries and break-ins to more complex scenes such as homicides and fatal fires.
The Forensic Sciences department boasts many staff who are current or former practitioners. Having either worked in forensic laboratories within the sector, or as crime scene investigators or crime scene managers with the police, the female leads bring a wealth of shared experience to the student learning focus.
Research shows that diversity fuels innovation, increases productivity, profitability and stability and has never been more important. But as long as women remain unrepresented from entry-level to the boardroom, this innovation is stifled.
The Welsh Government is committed to improving the career prospects of women and girls across the country to achieve Wales’ full economic potential, drive innovation and become a truly globally responsible nation.
Careers in science, technology, engineering, and maths have never been more important to finding the solutions to major global problems facing society.
Inspirational women across Wales have played key roles in tackling fundamental challenges faced by our society, from recovering from Covid-19 to combatting climate change.
To mark the annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Minister said encouraging far more women and girls to follow paths into careers in STEM is now more crucial than ever.
Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, who has Cabinet-level responsibility for science in the Welsh Government, said:
“I’m delighted to visit the University of South Wales today to see the progress being made on encouraging more women and girls into careers in science.
“The Welsh Government recognises that women are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and is determined to increase the number of women working in these vitally important sectors, because it’s good for our society and for our economy. Evidence tells us a diverse workforce increases profitability, productivity, and creativity across industry.
“As we progress on our goal of a stronger, fairer, greener Wales, we’re embedding STEM subjects into education, forming an integral part of the Curriculum for Wales, and preparing learners for study, employment and life in the 21st century.”
Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt said:
“The action we are taking to support women and girls into STEM is an example of how we are working across Welsh Government to tackle gender stereotyping and inequality. The diverse and rewarding careers offered through STEM are enabling women and girls to aspire, achieve and fulfil their potential here in Wales.
“The pandemic highlighted the brilliance of women’s contribution to the scientific and clinical response and illustrated to the next generation what is possible and what can be achieved.
“Today is an opportunity to showcase the exciting opportunities for women and girls as we continue to work towards a gender equal Wales”
Dr Louise Bright, Director of Research and Business Engagement at USW, said:
“It was great to welcome the Minister to USW and show him the sector-leading facilities that we have available for students who attend USW.
“One of our core aims is to help with the development of women in STEM, who, from school learners right the way through to professors and leaders in businesses, are poorly represented.
“By showcasing the work we are doing to address this issue, and giving the Minister a first-hand look at those endeavours, we were able to highlight our commitment to improving the prospects of women and girls in Wales, and support the Welsh Government’s aim to tap into the potential of all of those who live and work here.”