Q: Why are there so few women working in science, technology and engineering in the UK?
A: The fact that more women work in these industries in other parts of the world tells us the explanation is cultural. Increasing the number of visible female role models in senior roles in science, technology and engineering companies will make these sectors more attractive to girls. We want girls with ambition to imagine “that could be me”.
Q: How will we know whether the Ten Steps have made a difference?
A: WISE will work with the signatory companies to share experiences and examples of best practice. WISE will contact all the signatories once a year and request
Q: There are so many different diversity initiatives and campaigns. Why do we need another one?
A: In February 2014, following a meeting at Number 10 Policy Unit to discuss how to get more women into STEM, WISE invited our industry partners to discuss how we could join up women in STEM initiatives to make a bigger difference. The Ten Steps emerged from that meeting. It is not a new initiative – it provides a co-ordinated framework for action by STEM employers based on what has worked elsewhere. Our signatories are seeing results from using the Ten Steps, you can read more in the case studies under each step.
Q: Why does the Ten Steps focus on women and not on other under-represented groups?
A: This isn’t about making women a special case or about promoting women at the expense of anyone else. Many of the actions proposed will benefit everyone. We have focused on women because women represent the biggest under-used talent pool within STEM industries in the UK. The points could usefully be applied to other under-represented groups such as people from minority ethnic backgrounds.
Q: What happens next?
A: Case studies from signatory companies who have already implemented actions described in the Ten Steps are being collated and shared on the WISE website. WISE will continue to encourage signatory companies to assess their progress with The Ten Steps by use of the Ten Steps Diagnostic Tool.
WISE continues to review progress, with annual “measuring progress” events open to all signatories. The event encourages signatories to share good practice and support and celebrate each other’s activities related to The Ten Steps. WISE is continually reviewing content and offerings to help our member signatories get the most impact from the Ten Steps.