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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Women in STEM – what now? 

Linda Walmsley, Co-Founder of North West based executive recruiters, Walmsley Wilkinson says she has been particularly interested in the topic of Science Technology, Engineering & Maths since meeting with Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon, MBE, the founder of STEMettes in 2018. Thankfully the campaign to increase the number of women working in STEM related fields continues but is it still hitting the headlines enough?  

This key subject seems to have taken somewhat of a back seat with recent business news focussing on other topics such as wellbeing, cost of living, great resignation, industrial relations, and silent quitting.

The fact is though that we still have huge STEM talent shortages in the UK and this is a front seat, glaring business risk to the UK. 

Employers know that to remain competitive, they must recruit, retain, and further develop women for the continuing key growth area of technology. As a nation, the UK needs to commit to a cohesive strategy to educate and engage the female population to solve our many talent shortages, especially in AI and tech.   

This talent gap has been well documented. Many employers have recognised the need to invest in engaging women in STEM but not all. Of those that have, are we seeing enough change and positive outcomes?  Perhaps the increase of home or hybrid working will encourage more women to re-enter the workplace?  

Expert experience, albeit limited, is also out there, but employers need to think creatively and pursue with purpose when it comes to attracting women with these highly sought after skills.  

Enlightened employers are working hard to spread their talent attraction methods across all segments of the candidate market. They utilise all of their HR policies eg Diversity and Inclusion, Return to Work, Flexible Working, to encourage people from all communities to apply to their vacancies.  

However, whilst the education sector, from primary school to university, catches up with the ever hungry tech candidate landscape, it is critical that public and private sector organisations take up the baton with every option open to them, if they are to attract women in technically focused environments.  

At Walmsley Wilkinson we have worked in many challenging candidate landscapes but 2023 has its own testing complexion. It will be interesting to see if this year we witness increased creative thinking in talent attraction strategies and major adaptability in employment contracts when it comes to employing women in STEM.

Linda Walmsley

Director, Walmsley Wilkinson Executive & Management Recruitment

Walmsley Wilkinson, owned by two partners, Linda Walmsley and Taryn Wilkinson, offers professional solutions for executive and management recruitment needs. They support a variety of organisations, including large corporations, family-owned entities, private equity and the third sector to identify and secure the best leadership talent, across the UK and internationally.



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