Today is International Day of Women and Girls in Science and we are celebrating the small steps and great leaps women and girls have made in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in recent years. The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly to promote equal participation of women and girls in science. To mark its eighth anniversary, we’ve put together an infographic 8 Facts about Women in STEM to highlight the progress made and the work still to do.
Women and girls in STEM: The current position
Women and girls are underrepresented in STEM both in higher education and professions. Less than 30% of scientific researchers worldwide are female and only 35% of university students in STEM subjects in the UK are women.
Despite a skills shortage in technology disciplines, women still only account for around 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of computer science/IT graduates worldwide (source: UN).
The number of girls choosing to study STEM subjects at school has risen in the UK. However, gender bias and discrimination in education, academia and industry and a lack of parent-friendly companies and policies have all been cited as reasons why girls are put off a career in STEM or why women leave their careers in the field at a faster rate worldwide.
Why the world needs more women and girls in STEM
Beyond the idea of meeting gender diversity targets, the presence of women and girls in STEM is vital to future innovation and progress.