Science and Technology Facilities Council
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STFC pledges to get more women into science and technology careers

We have answered the government’s call to action yesterday (7th May 2014) by pledging our support for its Your Life campaign. 

Launched by the Chancellor, George Osborne, at the Science Museum in London, the campaign aims to encourage more women to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Boosting such skills is essential if the UK is to remain at the forefront of science and technology, and to thrive in a global economy. Currently only a fifth of students taking A-level physics are girls, and less than one in ten UK engineering professionals are women.

George Osborne said, “This campaign, which brings together some of Britain's best businesses, institutions and government, will help inspire young people into jobs in these exciting sectors that are essential to our economic prosperity.”

Delivering STFC’s pledge at the event are Professor Susan Smith, Dr Ceri Brenner and Dr Sophy Palmer, three women who have excelled in their chosen careers.

Our science and technology – including “blue sky” research such as astronomy or research with direct human benefits such as medical and environmental applications - offer many girls an appealing route into the physical sciences and engineering.

Our pledge includes that, through our National Laboratories and nationwide touring programme:

  • We will run public events that we expect to engage with 26,500 girls and women
  • We will run school activities that we expect to engage with 25,000 girls directly and 30,000 girls indirectly through teachers and educators.
  • We will, as part of wider work to improve the inclusion and diversity of our public engagement programmes, review and make improvements to the way we engage girls with STEM.

In national partnerships:

  • We will continue the project ‘Explore Your Universe’ with the Science Centres sector which has already reached 156,000 people, 50% of whom are girls, and Centres will explore ways of making the activities even more appealing to girls.

And as an employer and research funder:

  • We will, jointly with other Research Councils, participate on the judging panel of the annual WISE Excellence awards and sponsor one of the awards.
  • We will continue to involve our STEM women in major recruitment campaigns, including have female graduates give presentations at our assessment centres.
  • We will continue to publish, online and in print, material on careers for Women in STEM.

For more information about the government’s Your Life campaign

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