Today (9 May 2024), the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Diversity and Inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) launches its new project investigating equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategies.

This APPG is chaired by Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Science, Research, and Innovation, with the British Science Association (BSA) providing the Secretariat.

Find out more about this APPG

About the project

This project will investigate EDI strategies and the evidence (data) used by STEM organisations, businesses, higher education institutions and other bodies involved in science, to form their approaches to tackling EDI.

Collecting diversity data and setting ambitious diversity targets can help employers improve representation of people with protected characteristics in their workforce. However, we know that focusing on diversity alone isn’t enough to address systemic barriers to equality and bring about meaningful change to individuals and communities.

To progress the EDI agenda and improve representation in the STEM sector, it is necessary to improve the quality, and broaden the types, of gathered data and ensure that its analysis considers the lived experience of groups underrepresented in STEM.

As it stands, evidence for such analysis is typically quantitative, and therefore doesn’t capture any of the emotional and personal drawbacks of working in STEM.

What the project will do

The APPG on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM will explore what can be done to improve data reporting on representation in the STEM workforce and how organisations can evaluate the effectiveness of their EDI action plans, with a particular focus on the ‘equality’ and ‘inclusion’ aspects. 

We aim to develop an understanding of EDI from a data science lens, suggesting indicators to support organisations in becoming more inclusive and equitable.

The APPG plan to:

  • undertake a series of interviews with EDI leads and HR departments at STEM organisations (universities and STEM businesses) about their EDI strategies and the evidence behind them
  • host a parliamentary roundtable with key STEM organisations about EDI data collection and analysis
  • publish a series of blogs by EDI experts and network leaders outlining their ideas on how EDI strategies can better reflect lived experience

Call for submissions

This project has evolved from an idea submitted by Nira Chamberlain, immediate past president of the Mathematical Association, to the open call held by the APPG on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM in early 2024. 

Nira advocates for treating EDI as a pure science problem with an established baseline that organisations should use to establish targets. His research suggests that by defining inequality as the numerical difference between ‘talent’ and ‘opportunity’, organisations could quantify the effectiveness of their EDI strategies.

Read the submissions to the Call for Ideas