In the most recently released government workforce data for the UK:

The latest government workforce data shows small but positive increases in the % of women making up the Core-STEM workforce for most sectors. In sample data taken from March 2023, we see an increase in the proportion of female employees working in 4 out of the 6 Core-STEM categories.

These include SET Management (19.1%), Science and Engineering Technicians (30.8%), Engineering Professionals (12.9%) and IT Professionals (19.1%).

26% of all Core-STEM sector employees are female. Despite broadly positive statistics, a notable fluctuation in the number of female Science Professionals – in roles including Biological Scientists, Biochemists, Biomedical Scientists and Physical Scientists – negatively impacts the overall data trend for female employees in the Core-STEM sector.

Workforce data from December 2022

WISE will continue to update these headline figures as Annual Population Survey (APS) data is released.  A more in-depth analysis of this data – looking at trends across the years – will be released in September 2023.

Update to SOC codes

Please note that we have updated the SOC codes used from SOC 2010 to SOC 2020. For more information from ONS about this revision, please click here.

Data Sources

Core STEM includes science, engineering, and information and communications technology. Health occupations are not included within the scope of core STEM. Although skilled trades are not included within the scope of core STEM, WISE monitors the participation of women in in these roles because of the scale of employment.

This analysis has been produced based on government figures from the Annual Population Survey (APS). The previous WISE analysis used the Labour Force Survey (LFS); Following changes, we now use the APS.

The APS uses a larger sample size than the LFS, which should make its results more accurate, and which allows for additional data to be published.

The APS also has a smaller sampling error than the LFS, due to differences in how the data is collected.