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MP calls for more female scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sheffield Heeley MP, Meg Munn, has called for education and business leaders to work together to ensure the UK trains and retains more female scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians, as part of an event to mark International Woman’s Day in Yorkshire. 

The MP gave the ‘Eleanor McDonald Lecture’ to an audience of business women from the finance, science, IT and technology sectors at the Woman in Management / Institute of Directors conference held at Leeds Metropolitan University. This was the first time that the lecture had been given to a business audience outside of London. 

Business leaders told Meg about their work and their own plans, including providing money and skills support to schoolchildren in the region.  Delegates also quizzed the MP on her own experiences as a female working in politics a profession previously seen as a male dominated profession, and asked for her views on a recent high profile story of a senior woman working in technology going back to work shortly after having a child.

Meg said:

“I was honoured to give this year’s Eleanor McDonald Lecture on an issue that is of vital importance to our economy training and supporting more women scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians in the UK.

Despite the recession the CBI found that 43% of employers are having difficulty recruiting staff with skills in these areas and more than half expect to have difficulty in the next three years.  Yet 70% of female graduates with a relevant degree don’t end up working in these professions, and many that do don’t stay. It’s a waste of talent and potential which damages our economy and slows up recovery and growth.

The UK lags behind other European countries on getting women into these sectors, but by working together, business leaders, educators and politicians can help to change this.  Over recent months I’ve met many inspirational people in South Yorkshire, who are leading innovative companies and exporting products around the world. We’ve discussed how we can work together to train and support more girls and women to work in these sectors and create an environment which welcomes women and benefits our economy.”


The full speech is available at:



The Eleanor McDonald Lecture

Eleanor McDonald was a business woman and pioneer in creating opportunities for women in business to network, establishing the Women in Management network back in 1967. The annual lecture is organised by Women in Management and the Institute of Directors, and was supported this year by Redmayne-Bentley stockbrokers and held at Leeds Metropolitan University.


For information on Women in Management visit:



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