Equity in the STEM workforce: recommendations and key findings from report announced

20th Jul 2021

Today (Tuesday 20 July 2021) the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Diversity and Inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) has published their report into Equity in the STEM workforce, featuring evidence collected from over 150 individuals, businesses, networks and institutions - including the British Neurocience Association (BNA).

The report describes five key findings and three recommendations for Government and the STEM sector.

As expressed by BNA Chief Executive Anne Cooke, “Neuroscience benefits from having a diversity of views, backgrounds, and life experiences to help to tackle the complex challenges neuroscience presents. This new report highlights some of the challenges to achieving equity within the STEM workforce, many of which are long-standing barriers negatively impacting representation within STEM disciplines.

"The BNA places a strong emphasis on fostering an inclusive culture within neuroscience, and we will continue to work alongside others in the STEM sector to help increase representation for under-represented groups in neuroscience.”

The BNA is striving to improve equity and inclusion in neuroscience in a number of ways.  Chief amongst these is the BNA Scholars Programme, which provides focused support to students from under-represented ethnic groups in order to help them flourish in neuroscience, and which is supported by organisations across the sector.

Recommendations

The report’s three 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. 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.
  3. 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 full report can be downloaded here and on the BSA’s YouTube channel you can watch a full recording of the online launch event at the start of the inquiry held last November.

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