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Labour announce plan to make STEM workforce more diverse

By March 13, 2024No Comments

On International Women’s Day, Shadow Science, Innovation and Research Minister, Chi Onwurah, unveiled the Labour’s plan to support people from all backgrounds and all parts of the country to benefit from well-paid jobs in STEM.

Ms Onwurah declared that making the most of everyone’s talent in science was an “economic imperative” that would “supercharge innovation, jobs and growth across the country”’.

She continued, highlighting the need for greater diversity of those, particularly aspiring girls and women, opting to study STEM subjects.

If they formed the next Government, Labour would prioritise enhancing diversity and inclusivity within STEM throughout government, facilitating individuals from marginalised backgrounds to experience the advantages of STEM careers.

This initiative follows the unveiling of Labour’s Life Sciences sector blueprint, poised to generate numerous employment opportunities and stimulate growth in research and development investment.

Through a comprehensive cross-government approach, Labour’s action plan seeks to guide individuals from diverse backgrounds into the STEM positions resulting from the party’s ambitious initiatives aimed at energising scientific exploration and innovation.

Notably, statistics reveal significant underrepresentation, particularly of women in critical sectors such as life sciences and engineering, with only 40% of the workforce and 35% of senior leaders being women in life sciences.

Moreover, there is a stark disparity in representation based on socio-economic backgrounds, with less than 10% of life science professionals and a mere 6% of doctors originating from working-class backgrounds in the UK.

The Government has stated that “the Department for Education (DfE) is working on a cross-government action plan” so that “a diverse range of people enter the science and technology workforce by 2030”. However, they have not published this plan.