“As we celebrate the achievements of women in all fields, it is important to acknowledge the continued issue of the gender gap in STEM careers. Our research shows that big data and the internet of things could add £322 billion to the UK economy over the period 2015-2020. Although there has been a recent rise in the number of female students studying STEM subjects, nationally the skill gap is still a major problem for Britain. Demand for data scientists exceeds supply – a problem consolidated by the relative lack of female expertise coming into the sector.
“Clearly, it’s vital that businesses and the education system does everything possible to attract young women into STEM fields, such as data science, in order to address the skill shortage, while also increasing gender diversity in traditionally male-dominated professions.
“Providing support and training for young women in schools, colleges and universities is part of the solution. The industry needs to do a better job at encouraging candidates to study data science and provide focused training programmes to educate them on the benefits a career in tech could provide. For instance, individuals who graduate in engineering & technology achieve median annual earnings of £27,833 – more than 20 per cent above the average.
“Opportunity and education are the keys to addressing the gender gap in STEM and ending the lack of representation by women in tech jobs.”