Raise number of women in science, Prospect urges Labour


Raise number of women in science, Prospect urges Labour

Prospect union today (Tuesday) welcomed Labour’s green paper on the future of science, but called on the party to pledge to raise the current percentage of women in science, technology, engineering and maths professions from just 13% to 30% by 2020.

Sue Ferns, Prospect’s director of communications and research, welcomed the recognition in the paper that the gender balance in science has not changed in 25 years. “Prospect agrees with the green paper that long-term investment in the nation’s science base and better paid, higher tech and higher skilled jobs are needed,” she said.

“The science base has been hit by cuts to capital and departmental budgets, so a 15-year commitment for investment is welcome. But Prospect is urging all political parties to support its campaign for a minister-led commission to look at how to achieve the 30% target.”

Ferns also welcomed the green paper’s call for more high quality apprenticeships to ensure that the UK has a home-grown pipeline of STEM skills.

Prospect represents 80,000 members working for employers who carry out science, engineering or technology functions. These range from food to forests and from energy to environment.

The union’s Prospect Pledge campaign is encouraging union members to send ‘pledge’ cards to their elected representatives from all parties, and encourage them to sign up to policy ideas put forward by the union, including the target for increasing the number of women in STEM – see www.prospect.org.uk/prospectpledge.