According to 2018 data for the UK, the number of women in core STEM occupations is still just 22%. There is better news on the science front, with women now making up 43.2% of the total science professional workforce. But women occupy just 13% of STEM management roles.
As the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is to ‘balance for better’, I think there’s still a lot we can do to drive up these numbers, and recent research shows this is particularly true in Wales.
New research published by Chwarae Teg - Wales' leading gender equality charity - shows that full gender equality could boost the Welsh economy by almost £14billion. And if men and women had the same employment rates, working hours and productivity it could result in an additional £13.6 billion for the Welsh economy by 2028.
We want to help celebrate female role models in the STEM field.
One way in which we are doing this in Wales is through the Womenspire awards. Each year Chwarae Teg holds these awards which showcase the remarkable accomplishments of women across Wales who will inspire future generations.
ABPI is sponsoring the “Woman in STEM” category, an award which celebrates the women who are making a real difference to the STEM sectors in Wales. The award winner will be encouraging other women into these disciplines and supporting women to progress. I look forward to presenting the award in July.
Last year’s awards were very inspiring. The winner of last years’ ‘Building Wales’ award, which I presented, was Delyth Prys, Head of the Language Technologies Unit at Bangor University. Delyth’s work was around teaching computers how to understand and speak Welsh.
It is important to the ABPI that the pharmaceutical industry can recruit the very best people, regardless of gender. We just want to make sure that women have the same chance at succeeding in those roles as men.
Nominations for the 2019 Chwarae Teg awards are now open and if you have been or are working with women in Wales who deserve to be put forward, please nominate them here.
On International Women’s Day, help us ‘balance for better’ by helping us recognise and celebrate the achievements of women.
On International Women’s Day, help us 'balance for better’ by helping us recognise and celebrate the achievements of women.
Dr Sheuli Porkess, Deputy Chief Scientific Officer, ABPI