Issues in Gender Diversity and Equality in the UK

Bennaceur, A.; Cano, A.; Georgieva, L.; Kiran, M.; Salama, M. and Yadav, P. (2018). Issues in Gender Diversity and Equality in the UK. In: GE '18: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Gender Equality in Software Engineering, ACM Press pp. 5–9.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3195570.3195571

Abstract

There has been a significant increase in the number of initiatives to raise awareness of diversity-related challenges in technology worldwide within the past decade. Multiple organizations now emphasize a need for a close to 50%-50% male to female workforce distribution. Example of proposed activities include introducing quotas for women on board positions, promoting equal opportunities for employment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) jobs and creating a woman-friendly work environment. However, despite these efforts, the growth of number of women working in STEM is still slow.

To understand the impact of various initiatives and how they influence the work environment in universities in the UK, we conducted a survey to record responses from multiple women groups, so that we can identify the issues that they have been facing. This paper presents the insights drawn from the survey, along with recommendations for STEM and computing fields in order to increase female numbers in their programs. The survey presents qualitative measures of initiatives addressing the gender gap in the UK. The results show a clear need for prominent role models, mentoring, and promoting engagement of women in STEM subjects from an early age.

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