In the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) there are a huge number of job roles available. However in these specific industries, there is a significant lack of women filling these roles. The gender imbalance has become widely criticised in the news. In this day and age, where equality is everything, it is surprising to hear that women fill only 27% of computer science job roles. Even more shockingly, in the UK only 13% of STEM related jobs are filled by women. These statistics show the extent of the huge gender imbalance still happening in these industries.
Furthermore, when we look at the education sector, there are also fewer women studying degrees in any of the STEM related subjects but why is this? The gender bias in subjects like these does not help with the situation. They are often stereotypically labelled as male subjects, which would discourage women from applying and as there are also no obvious role models in such a male dominated industry there is no figure for women to look up to. If we had more role models being highlighted in the spotlight it may inspire more women to follow a career in these industries.
Overall, when it comes to these STEM fields of work, there is often little understanding about the type of job roles that are out there. As a result of this, fewer women are likely to apply to them in education and then follow them through as a career path. To address all the issues, the Telegraph Jobs engineering team have devised a solution of their own to encourage more women to enter education and careers in STEM industries and aerospace fields through a new resource.
The Telegraph Jobs Women in Space resource has been created to provide awareness of females in the aerospace industry and STEM related job roles. It allows individuals to view the backgrounds of inspirational women that have each made their own pathway into the industry and is there to help inspire more women to enter any of the STEM fields of work by showcasing different role models who have fought their own battles. The women featured on the database have all pushed themselves towards their goals, which make them perfect for females to aspire to be.
The usability of this online resource is really simple. The women are divided in two parts: Historic Heroines and Modern Marvels. The Historic Heroines shows all the women that have gone on missions into space whereas the Modern Marvels show women that are working in the space industry today. You can filter down the searches further by the first mission age, country of origin, job sector and job position. As well as this, there is video footage shown within the profile of each woman and each video clip shows footage in relation to their job roles and answers any questions viewers may have.
The next female generation can gain more of an insight into how the women on the database got to where they are today. A resource like this will help inspire them to choose a pathway leading into that career from early on in their education. It also allows them to develop a clearer pathway of how they will move up in the ranks of promotion.
It is important to increase the number of females working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the future, to provide more role models. Students need these female leaders to look up to.
Changing the stereotypes in these industries will make a huge step forward in encouraging more women to enter these industries. It will not be a quick fix for the difference in male to female ratio working in these different job roles however it will provide more females with the courage to step forward without letting the gender imbalance get in the way.