KEMI Badenoch, the Minister for Women and Equalities, has announced a new Government-backed initiative to encourage women to pursue or return to a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
According to Government research, women make up just 29.4 per cent of the STEM workforce in the UK, while there are 75,000 staff currently looking to return to a career in the fields – most of whom are women.
The new scheme is supported by £150,000 of Government funding and will be run by Women Returners and STEM Returners, with the aim of targeting staff who have taken career breaks and promoting core skills in an attempt to plug the STEM skills gap.
Joanna Kori, Head of People for Encompass Corporation, commented:”I am glad to see the Government promoting and providing tangible support to women looking to get into, or return to, STEM careers through investment and skills training. STEM careers are hugely rewarding, yet, as recent figures show, too few women are involved in the sector, and that needs to change. Women are poised to play a crucial role in resolving the skills gap, and it is vital that organisations provide the opportunities and training to empower women and encourage them to pursue a career in STEM. At Encompass, we work hard in this area, providing the balance of both autonomy and support to allow our talented female employees to thrive and be at the centre of the company’s growth.”
Nicola Pickering, VP of Customer Success & Delivery at Encompass Corporation, said:”The opportunities and avenues available in STEM are vast and, with initiatives like this, will only increase. It is encouraging to see how far we have come in schools, in terms of expanding opportunities, and instilling in girls to have no limits in what they pursue. There is so much possibility to achieve in the tech industry and, with the evolution of flexible working, inclusion for women is greater than ever before, meaning they can fulfil exciting career ambitions while maintaining the positive work-life balance that many look for.”
“Women must be brave, seek out and step forward, and take opportunities. Our careers are crafted by our skills and our value but, fundamentally, our careers are also crafted by the opportunities that we seek and accept. It is also important to remember that we all benefit from role models, mentors, and coaches. It doesn’t matter what stage you are at in your career, surround yourself with positive contributors who guide your career journey” Pickering added.
The Government has previously funded 25 returner programmes, including £1.5 million in grant support for projects in the private sector, with STEM the latest area of focus.