International Women’s Day 2016: STEM fields

08 Mar 2016

Written by Nina Cromeyer Dieke

Today is International Women’s Day, which aims to serve as a conscious global effort to celebrate women’s daily contributions to society. It is also a call to work harder against inequality, discrimination and abuse.

As the UK’s biggest science prize, looking for a solution to help solve rising antibiotic resistance, the Longitude Prize is at the junction of science, tech, maths and engineering (STEM), fields in which we particularly still need to take large strides to reach equal representation for women as for men.

The statistics from the WISE Campaign are stark:

  • Women make up only 14% of the UK STEM workforce, the lowest percentage in Europe.
  • Physics is the third most popular A-level for boys, but only the nineteenth for girls, and of 14,000 engineering apprentices, only a shockingly small 450 were girls.
  • Of all engineering professionals in the UK, 91.8% are male. This is already an increase of 12,000 over 2014.
  • Fewer women graduated from UK universities with a STEM degree in 2015 than in 2014 (nearly 6,000 fewer, a drop of 5%).

We work with the WISE Campaign to help us encourage female participation in the Prize, and are open to collaboration with other groups encouraging young girls and women to consider STEM courses and careers.


For more resources to help women’s equal representation in all aspects of society, start by visiting the International Women’s Day website.