International tech recruitment consultancy, Opus Talent Solutions is serious about tackling the gender imbalance within STEM skill sets (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The statistics:
- Only 16-18% of computer science graduates in the UK and US are women
- Only 11% of executive positions in Silicon Valley are held by women, while only 11% of the UK’s engineering workforce are women (Women’s Engineering Society)
- 32% of women leave STEM jobs within a year of entering the industry, compared to just 22% of men (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
Amy Golding, Opus CEO, has recently launched a number of initiatives to challenge the status quo, including a ‘Value of Diversity’ task force connecting employers with equality organisations.
She states: “The lack of women entering STEM sectors is shocking, and our gender diversity survey will help shine a light on underlying issues that have created such a male-dominated workforce.
“To preclude women is to narrow the talent pool, which only hinders innovation; the very thing that STEM organisations should be striving for.”
To help form the survey’s questioning, Opus teamed up with the Women’s Tech Hub, based in Bristol, UK (wthub.org). Co-founder, Dr. Constance Fleuriot, comments: “We are doing our best to support women in tech, especially women returners, but we know that tech companies need to think about how they can change their culture to be more inclusive.
“The Opus survey is a useful conversation opener and I hope it helps people in the industry stop and think about what is happening in their companies, and what they can do to help change things for the better.”
The survey is being distributed to Opus’ database of clients, but Golding is keen for STEM professionals all over the world to take part.
She notes: “Participating in our survey will give us a better understanding of the challenges currently faced, enabling both recruiters and employers to implement practical solutions for positive change.”
Dr. Fleuriot concludes: “There is a lot of talent out there, people just need support and encouragement, whether they are the potential employees trying to get back into the industry or the employers trying to work out what they need to do better.”
STEM professionals, employers and recruiters can take the survey here.
The deadline for participation is Friday, 27 April.