Keep gender on the agenda in STEM – now more than ever

As the world relies on their work during the COVID-19 crisis, gender equality for women in STEM must remain on the agenda.

As the COVID-19 crisis is escalating, the world is relying on its scientists, technologists and engineers as key workers to help solve the crisis. For the women in these fields, the gender agenda in STEM is vital in getting through these troubling times. WISE, the campaign for gender balance in STEM, has provided a guideline on how best to support women in STEM during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Women in STEM during the crisis

The government has recently suspended mandatory pay gap reporting, leaving the responsibility of keeping gender equality a priority solely to businesses in these troubling times. Luckily, WISE is here to support employers to focus on the gender agenda in STEM during the crisis, by listing five actions that employers should take to address the current challenges women in STEM face.

5 actions WISE are taking to make a difference

  1. Telling positive stories about the way women are making a difference in this current pandemic.
  2. Keeping connected to STEM women who are affected by the crisis is key, as the economy will rely on them to bounce back.
  3. Addressing STEM skills shortages by providing women at risk of losing their jobs access to online technical training.
  4. Monitoring gender impact of decisions about employment during the pandemic to ensure women are not disproportionately affected.
  5. Embracing new ways of working to transform organisations for the long-term. This could include flexibility, online meetings, and reduced travel which improves inclusion, productivity, health and well-being and benefits the environment.

The contribution of women in STEM is more valuable now more than ever, and so WISE has brought together 20 partner organisation to pool together in order to recognise the important contribution of women in science, technology and engineering in the UK, now and for the future. 

More than ever before, the case for equality, diversity and inclusion in STEM is absolutely fundamental, as the world cannot bounce back from COVID-19 without the contribution of women in STEM.
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