Updated Workforce Statistics to Dec 2021


The latest government workforce data as of end of Dec 2021 shows a positive increase in the percentage of women making up the Core-STEM workforce at 26.6% of the total, up from 24.4% in 2020.

The percentage of women in Core-STEM roles varies according to sector, however. For example, women IT Professionals currently account for 21.0% in the tech workforce, while women engineers account for just 12.5%.

This increase may be of particular interest to readers since it occurred during the pandemic when many businesses had actually scaled back resources including investment in D&I initiatives.

The relationship between employment patterns and the pandemic is not clear, but WISE members have posited several reasons for the increase. These include improvements to flexible working; an increase in job moves; and more people looking to future-proof their careers following furlough or redundancy.


Although the majority of Core STEM professions are recording a higher representation of women than they did in 2020 the rate of change is still slow and we still have some way to go if we are to achieve our WISE aim of 30% women in Core-STEM roles by 2030.

A note on data sources

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

A full list of occupations included in Core STEM can be found in the below document detailing all the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes.

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.

More information on the Annual Population Survey can be found here.