Social enterprise InnovateHer are celebrating their 5th birthday and world STEM day this November, with the launch of their annual Impact Report for 2021/2022. InnovateHer has been working for half a decade to get more women and girls working in tech, through educational programmes, working with partners and campaigning to raise awareness.
InnovateHer launched a new programme of activities in January of this year, including Inspiring Assemblies, introducing pupils to the world of tech. Role models also joined classrooms to talk about their careers and how they got there, with the aim of making careers in tech more tangible. Currently, only 26% of the tech workforce is female. Although this is an increase from 19% previously, the impact report revealed there is more work to be done.
According to the report, issues around getting girls into tech starts at school. It’s been a challenging year for STEM education following the Covid-19 pandemic, and according to McKinsey, students are around four months behind on learning. InnovateHer’s report also found that there is yet to be a significant rise of female students taking tech subjects in education – only 20% of students taking Computer Science at GCSE are female.
In the workplace, the report found that 45% more women than men leave jobs in the tech sector, and 50% of females who take a tech role leave it before the age of 35. There is also a lack of diversity, with only 0.7% of the industry made up of black women.
Despite the tough landscape in school and in the workplace, the report revealed that 692,000 people interacted with InnovateHer over the course of the year. After taking courses with InnovateHer, 50% of students said they felt more confident about going to work in tech. 85% of students are aged between 13-15, highlighting the importance of young people being engaged in STEM from school age.
Chelsea Slater, co-founder, and director of InnovateHer said of the report:
“Our annual impact report is an important piece of research that not only highlights the work we do, but also why we do it. It’s great to see that the female tech workforce is on the rise by 7%, but this isn’t enough. We’re passionate about getting out into schools and giving girls the confidence to consider a career in tech. We’ve relaunched our Tech4Good downloadable workbook, and our Understanding UX course online, and soon we’ll be launching further short courses to allow students to learn about the areas of tech they’re most interested in.”
“Our team is growing and we’re now a mighty team of 10. We’ve never been more passionate about our work with partners and schools.”