“Women make up 46% of the overall UK workforce according to government figures from 2013 but at present only 15.5% of women hold jobs in STEM fields. Meanwhile, there are more women graduating from university than men, but women form just 12% of engineering and technology graduates. That’s why today’s BTEC results are to be applauded as they highlight the number of girls gaining the applied science level 3 (the equivalent of A-Level) was higher than boys for the first time ever. These results highlight that real progress is being made in attracting women to STEM careers and this can only be a welcomed development.
“Not only this, these thrilling results have coincided with the celebration of Ada Lovelace Day (14/10/14), who is recognised as the world’s first computer programmer and one of science’s most influential women. More and more barriers are being broken down for women, for example, at this year’s Sci Foo (an event collaboration with Google), about 40% of attendees were women – a higher proportion than ever before. Meanwhile, to highlight women’s huge contribution to science and technology, Digital Science has taken the lead in making October the month to celebrate this impact. All these developments point to real, tangible changes within STEM fields which will not only benefit women but also the disciplines themselves as they become more inclusive and collaborative than ever before.”