To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of (a) the contribution of STEM careers to social mobility and (b) the adequacy of the Social Mobility Commission's new Social Mobility Index to (i) assess and (ii) improve diversity in STEM careers.
12 July 2022
We must draw on all our available talent and inspire more young people, including those currently under-represented in the STEM workforce, to take up STEM subjects and careers. Our focus on STEM diversity is primarily because of its importance to the UK's continued growth and its impact on wider society. STEM sector jobs are, on average, higher paid than those in the retail and care sectors, so supporting under-represented people into STEM helps their income, and supports our levelling up agenda.
The Equality Hub’s focus is on data and evidence, and a commitment to sharing that across Government so that we can all develop practical interventions that we know will have an impact. Officials work closely with other relevant departments, as well as academics and other organisations working in the sector to improve the shared evidence base.
The Social Mobility Commission (SMC), an independent body sponsored by the Equality Hub in the Cabinet Office, looks at social mobility from a UK perspective. The Social Mobility Commission's new Index does not focus on any one sector or industry, but looks at occupational classes more broadly, using the NS-SEC classifications from the ONS Labour Force Survey.