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Engineering: Females

Question for Department for Education

UIN 187145, tabled on 26 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to encourage women to (a) study and (b) take jobs in engineering.

Answered on

28 April 2021

The government is committed to tackling the gender imbalance in some science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Around half of all science A levels are taken by girls. There has been an increase of around 30% in the number of science A level entries taken by girls in England between 2010 and 2020, and we are funding programmes to further increase take-up.

The government funds extracurricular school programmes, delivered by UK Research and Innovation, to inspire young people to consider STEM studies and careers and to support the creation of a more diverse current and future STEM workforce. These include the STEM Ambassadors scheme, which supports over 20,000 STEM Ambassadors, over 40% of which are women, and the CREST Awards. Further information on the CREST Awards is available here: Engineering UK launched the Tomorrow’s Engineers Code in October 2020, an initiative to get organisations working together to increase the diversity and number of young people entering careers in engineering.

The department funds interventions to boost girls’ participation and representation in the STEM pipeline. We are investing in programmes to address female participation, particularly in subjects like computing, physics and mathematics, which can support later study and jobs in engineering. This includes the Stimulating Physics Network, which has a specific strand focusing on increasing the number of girls studying a physics A level.