As a recruitment agency, we are committed to helping address gender imbalance within STEM roles. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue their passions and reach their full potential, regardless of their gender. As we kick off the 4th year 'Celebrating Women in STEM' we're proud of the progress we've made as a business but know there's still more work to do. Our campaign aims to shine a light on inspirational women in the industry and what we can do to support the future generation.
The lack of women in STEM roles is a well-documented issue. Women make up only 28% of the STEM workforce and there is a gap between girls and boys that study STEM subjects beyond GCSE/Nat 5 (35% of girls and 80% of boys). This imbalance is not only harmful to women, but it also deprives the STEM sector of a diverse range of talent and perspectives.
Here are some of the ways WE are working to help address the gender imbalance within STEM roles:
Leadership commitment: One of our Directors has been a key contributor to the gender workstream of SDS’s Scottish Digital Skills Programme. She also sits on the ScotlandIS board and champions many gender diversity initiatives.
Industry commitment: We are new signatories of the Tech Talent Charter. This is a government-supported, industry-led membership group that brings together organisations to collaborate, share knowledge and insights, and drive greater diversity and inclusion in technology roles.
Celebrating women in STEM: We play an active role in celebrating Ada Lovelace Day with interviews and blogs from women working in STEM. This helps to raise awareness of the role models that are available to young girls and women who are interested in pursuing a career in STEM.
Supporting our colleagues: We are committed to ensuring that women colleagues have equitable opportunity for progression and promotion. We are proud that 58% of our workforce and 60% of our management team are women.
We have a comprehensive approach to wellbeing and women’s health: We offer enhanced maternity and paternity leave and pay, a "return to work" program with coaching sessions, up to 10 days paid compassionate leave for complications around pregnancy, birth, and pregnancy loss, a Menopause Support Group, support and additional leave for women during the menopause, a dedicated Menopause information hub on our intranet, and continuous commitment to menopause support through signing the Menopause Workplace Pledge. We also offer private medical with access to specialist women's health from Peppy.
Flexible working - We encourage our colleagues to work from the office 40% of their time, but we have chosen not to go with a mandated ‘back to office’ approach. This gives our employees the flexibility to work in a way that suits their needs, which can be particularly beneficial for women with caring responsibilities.
DEI Working Group – the work of our group has led to a more data driven approach to our DEI activity. We are currently analysing placement data to identify any disparities or gaps to be addressed and gender is a focus area for this work.
Honest Conversations: our Honest Conversations series is an initiative to educate and build awareness of DEI topics, amongst our colleague base. We have welcomed guest speakers to talk about subjects especially relevant to women, such as Menopause in the workplace and the challenges of ‘return to the office’ mandates.
Developing the Young Workforce: our Managing Director sits on the Board of DYW, a Scottish Government initiative to support young people better navigate the world of work. We exhibit and support at Roadshows, which include speaking with and encouraging girls to find out more about careers in technology.
We are committed to creating a more inclusive workplace for women in STEM. We believe that by leading by example we can inspire others to do the same and take the leap. By listening to and investing in our women colleagues and partnering with other organisations working to close the gender gap in STEM, we can make a lasting impact for future generations and help build stronger and more equitable and diverse workforces where everyone can thrive.