The majority of women with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects do not work in STEM areas. This is in contrast to men. The consequence is a serious loss to the economy. Scotland must address this issue.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh Report, ‘Tapping all our talents. Women in STEM: a Strategy for Scotland’ recommends creating a strategy to increase the proportion of women in the workplace qualified in STEM subjects, and to increase the number who rise to senior positions in universities, research institutes, government, business and industry.
This Report has been produced by an expert Working Group, chaired by the distinguished astrophysicist Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.
In advance of the publication of the report Jocelyn commented, 'Women with science, technology and engineering skills are one of Scotland's untapped resources. Having more women in the science and engineering work place will also increase the diversity - itself a source of strength and success.'
The Scottish Government Response
In May 2013, the Scottish Government issued a response to the RSE Report. The Scottish Government response can be read here.
View a selection of images from the launch
The Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP has welcomed the report, observing, 'Often women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering and maths can be overlooked and undervalued. For too long many women’s potential in these areas has been cut short. In the modern Scotland we must ensure that the talents of all our people are recognised and used for the benefit of all. That is why I welcome this report’s contribution to this important issue, and why the Scottish Government will work with key partners to find solutions that benefit women and our wider economy.' Sir John Arbuthnott added his support to the report, saying, 'This report clearly demonstrates that Scotland, like many other countries, currently does not take full advantage of the ability of many talented female scientists. In many cases the career opportunities of women are restricted. The recommendations in the report are very clear and are directed at Government in Scotland and the UK, as well as universities and industry, for the benefit of the whole of society.'