STEM’s male dominated industry puts women off entering the sector, says Milkround and SMRS research

ONE third of women are put off pursuing a career in STEM industries, as they perceive it to be male dominated, finds new research which delves into the student mindset when it comes to choosing a career in STEM related roles.

With 54% of females believing that women will struggle to earn as much as men in this sector there appears to be a growing gap which employers must address when it comes to diversifying their annual graduate intake and satisfying increasing quotas.

With many companies operating in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics sectors and looking to take positive steps with regards to brand building and changing the status quo, Milkround the UK’s leading youth recruitment site and specialist recruitment marketing communications agency SMRS delved into the reasons behind the lack of women entering this industry.

Key findings:

  • 23% of female school leavers believe their male counterparts receive more support in choosing a STEM career than females
  • Over 50% of respondents believe that women struggle to earn as much as men in STEM industries
  • 18% more males obtained a STEM role upon graduation than females who had studied in the same field.

This research stemmed from a noticeable rise in employer requests to target females studying particular industry subjects. Over 2,400 school leavers, students and graduates took the time to partake in this research, divulging their opinions and perceptions on the STEM industry.

Following the research, three focus groups were held for each audience- school leavers, students and graduates- to further qualify the results of the research. Another topic was discussed too- that of employer website branding, and how female STEM careerists engage with different types of branding and usability. Students who partook in the research noted that authenticity, friendliness and personalisation such as commuting distance were key factors in engagement, whist stock imagery, impersonal content, and poor user experiences through the application process, were most likely to put potential applications off.

The insight was revealed to graduate recruitment industry experts on the 18th of April 2016 at Milkround’s Insight Breakfast, held at their headquarters in London Bridge. Over 50 employees attended, including representatives from Sky, Thales and EY.

Carolyn Beadsmoore, Sales and Marketing Manager at SMRS said: “The focus on STEM careers, both in the UK and worldwide, is becoming vitally important to ensure organisations have the right talent and skill sets to support their future growth.

 “There are not enough individuals choosing to study STEM, and maybe, even more worrying as our research showed, is that about 50% of those, both male and female, studying STEM subjects are choosing career paths in non-STEM related roles. The focus for this latest research was to understand the choices, and identify any barriers, that women face when choosing a potential STEM career.

 “This has given us the insight to start looking at the opportunities and timings for organisations to connect with this audience through education, engagement and encouragement, with the ultimate goal of attracting more women into STEM roles.”

To see the full report, contact Milkround: