On 20 July 2021, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Diversity and Inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) published the ‘Equity in the STEM workforce’ report following an eight-month inquiry.

Read the full report

The report’s key recommendations are:

  1. The UK Government and STEM organisations, across the private, public and voluntary sectors should commit to leading a ‘STEM Diversity Decade of Action’ to tackle the historic and systemic underrepresentation of minoritised groups at all levels in the sector.

    1. The Prime Minister and UK Government should set a bold vision for a diverse and equitable STEM sector at the heart of their ambitions for the UK to become a ‘global science superpower'.

    2. STEM leaders from organisations from across the private, public and voluntary sectors should work together to form and co-fund an Employers’ Coalition for STEM Diversity to address the structural inequity in the STEM workforce and drive long-term change.
  1. The UK Government must deliver a statutory workforce data strategy and drive forward changes in policy and legislation to support employers to improve equity for minoritised communities in many sectors of the UK workforce, including STEM.

  1. The UK Government and STEM organisations must quickly look to address and reverse worsening inequity within the STEM workforce as a result of the pandemic.

The inquiry was launched in November 2020 with a Data Analysis Brief which outlined the diversity and representation of the sector (including healthcare) workforce as it stood in 2019.

At the online launch event, the APPG also announced a ‘Call for Evidence’ to which it received 85 responses from organisations and institutions across a range of STEM industries.

Read the evidence submissions here 

Evidence roundtables

 In February and March 2021, the APPG held four evidence roundtables to convene experts from across the STEM sectors and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) fields. These roundtables sought to collect further insight into combatting inequity in the STEM workforce and facilitate a sharing of professional knowledge. The summaries of these roundtables can be found below.

About the Inquiry 

Following the inquiry into Equity in STEM Education, which focused on the education pipeline, this inquiry examines how the Government and organisations employing STEM workers are helping to create a diverse and inclusive environment. The inquiry was launched at an online event. The full recording can be found here.

Prior to the inquiry, the APPG published a Data Analysis Brief on the diversity and representation in the STEM (including health) workforce as it stood in 2019. The key findings include:

  • Out of a workforce of 32.8 million people, 5.9 million (18%) worked in STEM occupations.
  • The STEM workforce has a lower share of female workers (27% vs. 52%) and disabled people (11% vs. 14%) than the rest of the workforce.
  • The share of ethnic minority workers in STEM is on a par with the rest of the economy, as a result of a workers with Indian ethnicity being more likely to work in STEM than elsewhere. People of other ethnic minorities tend to be under-represented in STEM.
  • Disabled people of all ethnicities are underrepresented in the STEM workforce. The gap in representation between STEM workers and others, is larger for disabled women than disabled men. While a majority of non-STEM disabled workers are female (59%), only one-third (33%) of STEM disabled workers are female.
  • 65% of the STEM workforce are White men.
  • Proportionally, White women are less likely to be STEM workers than ethnic minority women: 10% of White female workers are in STEM, compared to 13% of ethnic minority female workers.
  • There is little difference in the gender balance of the STEM workforce when the youngest age group (16-29), within which 29% of STEM workers are female, is compared to those aged 30-49 in STEM, a group which is 28% female.

For questions or additional guidance, please contact the APPG Secretariat.

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All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of members of both houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group.