23 September, 2017

New group helps companies with staff recruitment and retention

29 May, 2015

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has joined forces with Prospect, the trade union representing professionals in the UK, to launch a new joint working group with the aim of helping companies to recruit and retain more women engineers and scientists.


The group, which has grown out of a conference to coincide with International Women’s Day, aims to establish best practice guidance to share across industry on how best to recruit and retain women in science and engineering roles

Only 6 per cent of engineers in the UK today are women. This is due to a number of factors from the careers advice girls are given in schools, to schools not instilling girls with the confidence to opt for science and maths at A level. But it is also due to some employers needing to make their approach to recruitment and retention more female friendly.

Supported by Meg Munn MP, Baroness Prosser, Naomi Climer, president of Sony Media Cloud Services and IET president-elect, and Denise McGuire, vice president of Prospect, the group will also have industry representation from a range of major employers who attended the conference, including the Met Office, Atkins Global and BAE Systems.

Unconscious bias: How can organisations and individuals shift subconscious social attitudes, stereotypes and ingrained recruitment and promotion attitudes that exist and negatively impact a more diverse workforce?

Good practice for retention: How can we encourage organisations to recognise that creating a level playing field for women benefits everyone. Flexible working, fair pay and a more inclusive culture should be on all organisations’ agenda because they are proven to improve overall staff retention, and are good for business.

Practical guidance

Climer commented: “We have talked about the lack of women in engineering and science for many years now. More female-friendly retention and recruitment practices are an important part of the challenge. By bringing together a working group which for the first time has representatives from Government, trade unions, industry and professional bodies, we want to get to the crux of the issue and come up with some hard-hitting and practical guidance that can help more companies address this significant problem.

McGuire added: “Women are in STEM for careers, not just for International Women's Day. We need to stamp out Unconscious Bias and make the world of work a fairer place for everyone.”

For more information on Prospect’s What’s Holding Women Back report, visit: https://library.prospect.org.uk//download/2015/00309.




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