STEMinism: One year on

In this paper we share insights from STEM sector experts to accelerate uptake among girls to follow STEM careers.

On 11 March 2021, Teach First convened a roundtable discussion with a group of STEM sector experts to discuss the ongoing challenge of improving gender representation in STEM fields. The event marked the first anniversary of the publication of our report Missing Elements, where we set out why it’s a problem that so few girls and women choose STEM routes, as well as some of the measures that could help schools increase the diversity of take-up.

The roundtable event focused on the role of schools, with an emphasis on how businesses can support schools and students who need it most. It also considered the extraordinary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the difference this might make to STEM enthusiasm and outreach in the future.

In this paper we share insights from the discussion and focus on some of the recommendations made to accelerate progress. We also share the results of a survey of almost 7,000 teachers, commissioned to find out what they think the future holds and what responsibility lies with schools.

At Teach First we are committed to remaining part of this conversation to ensure no child or young person is held back by societal stereotypes or biases.

The roundtable attendees were:

  • Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Digital, Science and Technology and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diversity and Inclusion in STEM B
  • Beth Bramley, Inclusion in Education Manager, Institute of Physics
  • June Felix, CEO, IG Group Sheila Flavell, COO, FDM Group and Board Member, techUK
  • Jo Foster, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • Helen Gourlay, Former Science Teacher and Development Lead, Teach First
  • Phil Jones, CEO, Northern Powergrid
  • Bobbie Mills, Senior Researcher, Education Policy Institute
  • Laura Norton, Senior Programme Manager, Royal Society of Chemists
  • Jenna Owens, Chief People Officer, Quadrature
  • Siobhan Randell, Inclusion and Diversity Lead, Multiverse
  • Kirsty Simkin, Primary Science Lead, Reach Academy Feltham
  • Rebecca Stewart, CEO, Huo Foundation
  • Eleanor Whitehead, Corporate Philanthropy, Bloomberg
  • Sam Wildsmith, Research Assistant, Huo Foundation

Chair: Shelley Gonsalves, Executive Director, Teach First

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