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Should there be more women in charge?

Friday, February 22, 2013

The HeadsUp website is starting a debate on the question ‘Should there be more women in charge?’ and Meg was asked to provide a contribution which is below.


Getting women into Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) is a subject I am passionate about. There are skill shortages in SET businesses struggle to recruit qualified staff. Yet 70% of female graduates in SET don’t end up working in that field, and many that do don’t stay.  That is a waste of talent and potential, and who knows what innovations remain undiscovered as a result. 


Why does it happen? 


Young woman taking up jobs in SET often feel intimidated as they are the only female and subject to sexist comments; SET seen as man’s work: and SET employers do not offer benefits (others do) that make woman want to work for them and stay with them.  Things like: career breaks for maternity leave; flexible working to work hours around school pick up and drop off; and childcare (women still have the main responsibility for childcare).  There is also a lack of role models and understanding about just what SET involves.


We need more young people in SET professions but we also need to create an environment which welcomes women so all our young people can realise their potential and ensure Britain leads the world in great discoveries and technological improvements.


For website visit:  http://www.headsup.org.uk/content/default.asp?page=s371_2


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