Women in Tech and STEM.

By Zoe Gregory

Life Sciences

Since studying Sociology at college and then for my degree, I have always been interested in human social behaviour and interactions, social change and culture. During my studies I learnt a lot about equality and inequality, and as a woman this is something I have identified personally in different ways throughout my life so far. As a recruiter I work in a male dominated industry, and recruit into a highly male dominated sector – Technology within Life Sciences.

Throughout my career in recruitment, I have grown to know and understand how underrepresented women are in my role and the sectors I recruit into. This has become even more clear from speaking with my colleagues, candidates, and clients or through attending webinars and networking events to find out more on diversity in the workplace. Despite this, I had never delved deeper into why this is or how I can make more of a conscious effort to change to this, until now.

Although the medium-term trend shows female numbers increasing in IT professional roles in 2017, the number of men working in these roles is increasing at a faster rate, jumping by nearly 60,000 in the past year. This means the female proportion of the IT professional workforce was still only at 16% in 2019.

I have been educating myself on Women in Tech and STEM specifically; I have attended events and interviewed female leaders in the sector and found that there is a disparity in numbers between men and women in these industries and the types of roles worked by each gender. An interesting observation raised from one of my conversations was that a higher number of women seem to sit in operational tech roles like IT PMO which require more coordination for example, than say architecture roles in infrastructure or data science. As you can see from the image above from STEM Women Statistics, the proportion of women in STEM tech roles has decreased over the past five years. I am pleased to say that when I have placed women in senior tech roles they have gone on to be very successful.

I have been having conversations with women in STEM to understand their challenges throughout their careers. One issue that came up with most people I spoke with was the lack of female role models in STEM and Tech roles. Starting from the number of girls that take STEM and Tech subjects at school and university through to those in professional careers. Many said they have had great male mentors who have been very supportive and helpful, but they still wish they had had a female role model. A few have become mentors both internally in their companies and externally via different groups to support and encourage other women.

If you would like to speak with a recruitment consultant who is passionate about equality and diversity, who places the best person in the role and champions women in Tech and STEM, then I would love to hear from you.

To join the conversation and find out more, please reach out to Zoë Gregory, Resourcing Partner and Women in Tech Ambassador at Zoe.Gregory@grovelands.co.uk, I look forward to speaking with you!

 

Great groups to follow on LI and get involved with:

 

References:

  1. https://www.stemwomen.co.uk/blog/2021/01/women-in-stem-percentages-of-women-in-stem-statistics