With more women moving into traditionally male-dominated industries and a rise in female entrepreneurs over the past decade, women’s representation in the UK workforce is steadily increasing! We did some research to uncover the areas women are thriving in.
The great news is that more women are paving the way for others by thriving within traditionally male-dominated industries, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), law and loads more.
Women make up 26% of STEM employees now, especially in Mathematics and Physical Sciences, and women are also dominating in statistics, botany and healthcare. This shift over the last few years has made more female students feel empowered to enter less traditional career paths and become computer programmers, aircraft pilots and firefighters, to name a few.
Flipping Gender Roles
While the gender gap is still wide in some STEM fields, it seems to be narrowing in others, mainly because women in the UK are now 38% more likely to go to university than men. With pathways being forged every day, female students are taking on traditionally male-dominated subjects like computer science and engineering, with 325,920 more women now on degree courses than men, compared with 34,035 in 2007. More women in the UK are confident in their academic abilities and feel empowered to pursue their higher education ambitions.
Where Women are Thriving
Although women continue to be under-represented in computer science and engineering, there are other areas where they’re paving the way for younger generations. Here's a list of sectors in which women are thriving and the percentage of women employed:
- Health and Social Work — 78%
- Education — 70%
- Accommodation and Food Services — 54%
- Real Estate — 53%
- Public Administration and Defence — 52%
67% of Law Students are Female
The number of women studying law has been steadily increasing for years. In fact, there is more than double the number of female law students than men who have been accepted a place to study law in 2019-2020. To put this into perspective, of the 20,905 students accepted to study law in 2019-2020, 31% were men, and 69% were women! According to Law Society statistics, 52% of solicitors currently admitted to the roll are female.
Women Have Become the More Qualified Sex
The gender pay gap has become smaller. In 2020, women were paid an average of 6.5% less than men, compared to 12.1% for full-time workers in 2015. This is partly due to educational qualifications for women increasing faster than men’s, as, from the late 2000s, women have become the more qualified sex!
Pave the Way for More Women to Enter Typically Male-Dominated Subjects and Industries
It is important to tackle the stereotypes girls are exposed to. Doing so will help attract them to study male-dominated subjects at university.
Get to them early – Most girls state a lack of confidence and skills as a reason for opting out of typically ‘male’ subjects at a high school level. Changing this perception early and introducing hands-on learning opportunities, workshops, and peer interactions can open the door to more young girls feeling confident in their abilities to enter the vibrant and rewarding STEM workforce.
Bust the stereotypes – It is essential to dispel the myths that dissuade young girls from studying ‘male’ subjects in school and pursuing careers in these sectors. One of the main misconceptions is that IT careers are restricted to coding and development. In fact, a strong technical background can be used to enter a vast range of career paths, including medicine, education and communications, to name a few.
Female role models – Young women are put off careers in STEM and IT due to so few role models, and the mentality that it is a ‘boys club’. This is why mentorship plays an important role in setting females on a path to success and confidence. By pairing young women with accomplished female professionals, they can offer one-on-one attention and guidance and act as living proof that women can achieve success in these industries.
Great Initiatives to Get More Women in Tech
- CoderDojo – A volunteer-led computer programming club for people aged 7-17.
- Girls Who Code – A popular US non-profit organisation that runs summer programs teaching programming skills to high school girls.
- I Wish – This Irish initiative hopes to encourage more female students to study STEM subjects.
- WISE – A UK non-profit organisation aiming to increase women's presence in STEM jobs from today’s rate of 13% to 30% by 2020.
- Girls in Tech – A global network that aims to boost the visibility of women in tech by hosting events and providing employment resources.
Women at Fresh
Women make up 67% of our team here at Fresh, and 63% of our senior management team at Director level are women. We look forward to seeing even more women dominate within the property industry!
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