British Science Association and AAPG launch enquiry into equity in UK STEM workforce

13 Nov 2020

The British Science Association has announced that the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Diversity and Inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) has launched an inquiry into Equity for the STEM workforce throughout the UK.

Laboratory assistant at work

This enquiry aims to focus on how the Government and organisations employing STEM workers are helping to create a diverse and inclusive environment. This inquiry follows on from the Diversity and Inclusion in STEM’s inquiry into Equity in STEM Education and the final report will be finalised next summer.

The APPG yesterday republished information on the diversity and representation in the STEM and health workforce, following on from their enquiry into Equity in STEM Education.

‘The key findings include:

  • Out of a workforce of 32.8 million people, 9 million (18%) worked in STEM occupations.
  • The STEM workforce has a lower share of female workers (27% vs. 52%) and disabled people (11% vs. 14%) than the rest of the workforce.
  • The share of ethnic minority workers in STEM is on a par with the rest of the economy, as a result of a workers with Indian ethnicity being more likely to work in STEM than elsewhere. People of other ethnic minorities tend to be under-represented in STEM.
  • Disabled people of all ethnicities are underrepresented in the STEM workforce. The gap in representation between STEM workers and others, is larger for disabled women than disabled men. While a majority of non-STEM disabled workers are female (59%), only one-third (33%) of STEM disabled workers are female.
  • 65% of the STEM workforce are White men.
  • Proportionally, White women are less likely to be STEM workers than ethnic minority women: 10% of White female workers are in STEM, compared to 13% of ethnic minority female workers.
  • There is little difference in the gender balance of the STEM workforce when the youngest age group (16-29), within which 29% of STEM workers are female, is compared to those aged 30-49 in STEM, a group which is 28% female.’ ( 11th November 2020)

The APPG is actively asking for a ‘Call of Evidence’, welcoming responses  from organisations who employ STEM workers including from the private, public and non-profit sectors; organisations that work with or represent current or future STEM workers, as well as individuals and/or informal groups.

Further information on how to submit evidence can be found here.


(Image: Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels)