Updated workforce statistics to September 2020

These are the latest government workforce data, which shows up to the end of September 2020. While these are moving in the right direction, we are aware that any full impact of COVID-19 on the STEM workforce will become clearer over the next few months and years, and we will continue to track this data. We know that keeping gender on the agenda is critical now more than ever.

Latest government data shows that in 2020, there were still over one million women in core-STEM occupations.

There are now over 53,000 women in engineering professional roles – almost double the number 10 years ago (2010).

The proportion of tech roles filled by women has remained fairly consistent but has increased slightly since 2010. Further action is needed to encourage more women into tech roles, category of jobs that make up a quarter of the STEM workforce.


With over 1.1m women working across core-STEM, women make up 24% of the core-STEM workforce, a slight rise from 2019.


Women account for just over 10% of engineering professionals. In the last year, this number has continued to increase – now 53,325 women work in Engineering, a growth of around 3,000 on 2019.


There are over 208,400 women in tech (IT professional) jobs in 2020, up from 181,500 in 2019. The slight dip before 2019 has been corrected.

Science Professionals

Women have already reached ‘critical mass’ in science professional roles and are now within touching distance of 50%. Over 63,000 women work in the science field.

Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Managers

Women in SET Management continues to grow, and now stands at over 110,000.


While the number of Science and Engineering Technicians have improved, the number and percentage of women in IT technician roles has stayed static.

We continue to track the % of women over ten years.


These numbers are steady, which is positive news. However, we are aware that these numbers may not yet show the true impact of COVID-19, and we will continue to track the data sources as we move through 2021.

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 here, listed by 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code.

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.

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