In November 2017, the British Science Association announced it would be working in partnership with the Mayor of London and his team on a new STEM programme, the Mayor's London Scientists to provide CREST Awards for young people across the capital who are underrepresented in STEM, including girls. But, as we find out in this blog post from the Greater London Authority, that isn't the only way the Mayor of London is tackling the gender gap. 


At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, the Mayor of London launched #BehindEveryGreatCity to mark 100 years since women in the UK got the vote. Crowds attending the fireworks display heard a booming voice tell them to “mind the gap” – a reference to London’s 14.6% gender pay gap – before an all-female soundtrack ushered in 2018.

#BehindEveryGreatCity will highlight London’s suffrage movement, celebrate equality milestones and look at the barriers women still face today.

For the UK’s STEM sector, it means addressing the fact just 14 per cent of the STEM workforce are women. Providing opportunities for girls to engage with STEM subjects and see themselves in STEM careers is key to changing this.

As part of this, City Hall launched the Mayor’s London Scientist programme this year to boost the number of young Londoners doing science projects. 5,000 students from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM will receive funding to enter their project for the CREST Awards - known for achieving a gender balance.

Similarly, equal numbers of girls and boys will get hands on with the Mayor’s free RE:CODE London workshops, in partnership with LEGO and the Institute of Imagination. They will build and program their own robots to take on the city’s challenges - like cleaning pollution from the River Thames.

Joanne McCartney AM, Deputy Mayor of London has also joined forces with Prospect to challenge gender stereotypes in schools. Students were encouraged to draw STEM professionals in a new video resource – then meet women working in the sector.

Further Mayoral activities are to be announced. Register for City Hall’s schools newsletter to find out how to get involved in 2018.