Chair: Annette Williams, DirectorUK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Hold your nerve in the curve – Innovation and equality in the recession – why momentum and commitment remain critical
Masterclass • Recessions are social and political challenges as well as economic ones • Equality practices shouldn’t be a boom time nice to have • Practices should be fully integrated throughout the org • benefit of equality practices – results in a more diverse workforce, students, customers, members • Diversity is good for innovation – cloned people = cloned minds • Diversity is good for the bottom line • Timely Equality Bill introduced on April 24th – first reading in the commons in May – public sector
Possible qn’s • Anyone already had a Swan charter? What difference does it make? • Research into Attrition in biochemistry -
panel • "with student figures rising yet doctorates on the decline, do universities need to be restructured in order to re-engage our new breed of intellectual? • Are knowledge transfer networks and other academic/industry links the way to establish the leading role in the future knowledge economy? • And how do we find the balance point in the tug of war between government aiming for results and academics aiming for understanding?"
Panel - qn • The UKRC's attrition figures show the level of women's involvement in science, engineering and technology at HE at undergraduate level does not sustain. Annette, why does this matter and how does science in every sector and level, and business too, have to change to turn this around?
Attrition – some stats • Why women are important • Women more than 50% of the student population • HESA data from 2007 shows the proportion of women to men at undergraduate level in SET subjects was 1:3, this dropped to less than 1:9 at professorial level. • Time lag? previous patterns would suggest that the increase at senior level will not be proportionate to the increase at undergraduate level. - BIO • Only 25% of women who qualify go on to work in SET occupations • 60% go to other sectors compared to 40% of men • Rate of progress key figures • Lack of women at the top of HE and research
Girls are 42.4% of GCE A level students in STEM subjects. • Women make up 33.5% of all higher education (HE) students in SET disciplines. • Women represent 18.5% of SET employees. • Women hold 9.1% of directorships in the UK FTSE 100 companies in SET sectors. • 8.0 % of all SET professors are female.
TIME • Female and male GCE A level students will be equally represented in 2058. • Female HE students will reach 50% representation in 2069. • Proportion of women in SET employment will not reach 50% in the 21st century. • Gender equality among directors of the UK FTSE 100 SET companies will be achieved in 2063. • Women professors will reach equal representation with their male peers in 2045.
As the UK seeks to emerge form the current economic crisis as a high end innovative economy that can compete in terms of the numbers of practicing graduates and post graduates, the fact that women are under represented takes on a renewed policy poignancy, for economic as well as social reasons. • Under representation is not uniform across all of the SET disciplines or sectors and does not apply to women innovators where prevalence in entrepreneurial population is higher • However the TUC authors predict that the impact on women will be more serious in 2009
Why matter:Business and innovation case • Financial crisis presents a real need to challenge ourselves and rethink the way we do things • the vast potential of women as an economic forcer has yet to be fully realised • Catalyst /McKinsey research - Women make significant and proven contributions to business and economic growth..– 3 out of 10 • Not saying if women had run the finance sector we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in, but……. now is the time to realise and harness the positive effect that women’s economic empowerment and leadership can have on the global economy • Women - along with innovation - should be at the heart of the attack of the recession – long term economic growth requires the expanded participation of women in the workforce
Powerful case for building more inclusive societies and diverse leadership • Women do not enjoy the full benefits of participation the labour force in general and SET in particular • Triple burden – envt alien, domestic resp, deficit of social capital • Wage and occupational disparities – women are • Little of not visibility for innovation and discovery - hidden • Little or no visibility in boardrooms, council rooms –limited power in settign the research agenda • Excellence – not gender neutral – social construction - open to bias it depends on the people judging and the standards they set for excellence. • Innovation is not always recognised immediately • Culture – gets in the way – ‘tended to reward and connect insiders’ – ‘similar to me’ implicitly effects assessment and seelction procedures
How to turn this round • Evidence base is solid • Awareness is raised – understanding – what to do • Equality bill – extends positive action • Action plans • 2 equal candidates • Norway – 6% in 2002- 40% in 2008 • leaders – CEO charter/Swan Charter • Champions – tomorrow come forward and we will train you • Enabling women entrepreneurs • Empowerment programmes – UKRC national programme of events