A new report by the Campaign for Science and Engineering shows the required level of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is progressing too slowly.
CaSE brought together five years’ data and research to build a picture of the current state of diversity in STEM covering education and the professional workforce.
It found women, disabled people and those from ethnic-minorities or socially-disadvantaged groups are consistently underrepresented, particularly at senior levels, in science and engineering.
CaSE also warned of the economic need to improve diversity in STEM, citing the annual shortfall of 40,000 STEM skilled workers in the UK.
Director of CaSE, Dr Sarah Main, said despite progress being made, it remains difficult for select groups of people to get involved in STEM.
“People and organisations across the sector are doing great work to broaden the appeal of science and engineering. However it is clear from today’s report that it is still hard for many in society to access the opportunities that skills in science and engineering bring,” said Dr Main.
Dr Main also welcomed the launch of a cross-government initiative to boost female participation in technology and engineering.
“Today’s Government initiative is welcome. If we are to meet the scale of the challenge presented in our report, it must mark the beginning of a concerted and coordinated effort,” she said.
“We look forward to working with Government and the sector to tackle the actions in this report to ensure that the life changing opportunities that science and engineering can bring are equally open to all.”