From education to employment

How can organisations encourage and support women in STEM?

Stacey Taylor, Learning Design Director at DeltaNet International

#WomenInSTEM – Due to the inequalities in STEM roles, the United Nations proclaimed 11th February as International Day of Women and Girls in Science. It aims to encourage women and girls to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Despite the uptake of women studying STEM – women earn degrees in this field only at half the rate of men. However, the demand for STEM skills worldwide continues to grow, and educational institutions and organisations must help encourage more girls to study STEM subjects at school and university.

According to a report by the ONS, the number of women in technology has continued to increase over the past year, with 32% of UK tech jobs held by women.

While the UK has a long way to go to meet gender equality in STEM roles, a recent report by STEM Women revealed that of those surveyed in 2021, 62% believe that there will only be a moderate change in 10 years on the gender imbalance in IT and Engineering industries.

STEM industries continue to receive stigma and ingrained beliefs of what consists of ‘men’s work’ and ‘women’s work’ – therefore suggesting a significant amount of work needs to happen in this area to battle this stigma and encourage more women to take on careers in STEM.

DeltaNet’s Learning Design Director, Stacey Taylor, is a prime example of a woman with a science background building a tech career and has shared some thoughts on how organisations can encourage and support women in STEM:

“Although it has been a while since I taught Science in secondary school, seeing more women taking roles in scientific fields, particularly at a more senior level, is something very close to my heart. While I might not be influencing young minds directly anymore, my passion for learning has always driven me, and my background in neuroscience provides me with valuable insight into how to support effective learning. I now leverage my expertise to effect change in eLearning, creating meaningful content and using technology such as gamified experiences and AI to educate employees and promote a genuine culture of compliance.  

“The best way we can support the drive for more girls and young women to take on Science is by providing them with role models of women that have thrived in a STEM role, setting the example and highlighting that they can do it too. Organisations of all sizes have a part to play in this by reducing barriers to entry and understanding the importance of diversity and inclusion, allowing more women to build careers in this area – especially in senior-level positions. Businesses in all sectors ought to also better support women in the workplace by combatting gender-typical expectations on their male colleagues, normalising shared parental leave, flexible and remote working for male employees and having more balanced expectations on typical familial roles.”   

“Studying STEM subjects encourages creative thinking to prosper – an essential tool in the arsenal of any organisation looking to drive innovation in the workplace. The creative concepts and processes involved in learning these subjects encourage people to seek imaginative methods to solve problems. Learning STEM subjects also promotes logical, conceptual thinking – a powerful skill for any organisational leader.”

Stacey Taylor, Learning Design Director at DeltaNet International

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