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Why improving diversity in STEM should be a priority

The STEM sector in the UK has the lowest number of women proportionate to men of any country in Europe accounting for less than 20% of job roles.

And in education, there is a growing concern that thousands of skilled and talented women are choosing career paths away from the STEM sector. Why is this important? Because in the fastest growing sector in UK business, it causes two issues. One is tackling a workforce shortage that is seriously hurting businesses in the UK. And the other is with diversity in the workplace.

Improving the diversity and inclusion of women in STEM related businesses is vital for the successful growth and development of businesses in these sectors.

The benefits of diversity in STEM

Workplace diversity is critical as a driving force towards greater innovation and fresh thinking ideas. Every member of a team hold a collection of invaluable and unique life experiences and different perspectives that can be used to identify and solve problems. We are all unique and the more ways that we can tackle a problem, the quicker we can solve it. In the modern world, problems are solved by teams, not individuals and in the STEM sector, a diverse workforce that embraces inclusion and teamwork can truly profit while taking the business forwards. Diversity can help to make the workplace a more attractive environment and one that can attract, retain and progress key talent.

For companies that do not embrace diversity, they face the same problems that have affected countless businesses over the decades. Stagnation. Like-minded engineers, mathematicians and scientists all with similar backgrounds, views and life challenges will never be as effective at problem solving as one that has embraced diversity and conscious inclusion. By focusing on diversity, a company can tackle the skills shortage that is currently affecting STEM businesses across the country.

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How to address diversity in STEM businesses

If you are wanting to recruit from a larger talent pool where real talent is the goal then embracing diversity is vital for STEM based businesses to thrive.

You cannot simply add a diversity policy to the footer of your website and assume the problem is solved. A STEM business needs to embrace a culture change. It needs to understand the unconscious bias traits that have been affecting its hiring policies and it needs to help women in business with career development opportunities that can entice them to have a career in STEM based industry.

A career in industry can be exciting, challenging and rewarding and STEM businesses need to promote themselves better in this. There is a big shortage of engineers and promoting diversity in your business will help to plug that gap whilst introducing fresh new ideas, different perspectives and most importantly, a culture change in the workplace that can help put your business on the map.

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At Skills 4, we are a multiple award winning diversity training company focusing on the STEM sector. Our experienced training team who can provide both traditional and online diversity, unconscious bias, conscious inclusion and career development training for our clients that will help to attract, retain and progress diverse talent.

We are one of the UK’s leading Diversity and Inclusion Training Providers, having established in 2006, by the current CEO Jayne Little, in response to issues identified in the government-commissioned Report, ‘Shaping a Fairer Future’.

To find out more about our range of training services in the STEM sector and the benefits that they can bring for workplace culture change, diversity, inclusion and equality as well as tackling racism in the workplace, please contact us today.

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