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Science and Engineering Community Makes Committment to Diversity

15 December 2016

Today the ASE voices its support for a major new framework to improve diversity and inclusion in science and engineering. This new initiative from the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Science Council makes a commitment to make STEM more attractive to, and inclusive of people, from a wide range of backgrounds. 

Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive at the Science Council, says: 

“While there is still much to be done across society to truly create a world where gender, skin colour, body and social class do not limit life chances, it is great to see such a big move forward by these professional bodies and institutions for the benefit of scientists and engineers everywhere.”   

Shaun Reason, Chief Executive of the Association for Science Education comments:

“We’re pleased that the professional science and engineering community have pulled together to put diversity and inclusion firmly on the agenda with this new framework. Acknowledging that we can all do more to ensure that science and engineering is seen as a viable option for young people, and to combat existing stereotypes from the time we step into the classroom, to the point at which we support professionals in their career development.”

Key Facts

  • 8% of people in professional engineering roles are female, according to the Review of Engineering Skills (2013)
  • 20% of physics ‘A’ levels are awarded to girls according to the IOP It’s Different for Girls report (2011)

  • 43% of those aged between 11 to 14 years believe that a career in engineering is desirable, while 49% of 15 to 16 year olds say that they would consider a career in engineering, according to an EngineeringUK report (2016)

ASE signs up to Declaration on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The Science Council is committed to widening participation in science education and the workplace. To this end the Science Council and its member bodies declare a commitment to promote equality, diversity and inclusion throughout their communities and challenge prejudice and discrimination. This will require leadership from the highest level in the Science Council and its member bodies. As a leading voice in science and the application of science, the Science Council will therefore seek every opportunity to be proactive in promoting and communicating this vision to educators, employers, policy makers, opinion formers and other publics.

We, The Association for Science Education (ASE), a member body of the Science Council, will proactively promote a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion within our discipline by:

i. Appointing a board level diversity champion who, in partnership with the senior executive staff member in our organisation, will advocate the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion, and be accountable for improving practice and communicating our diversity strategies to our staff, membership and other stakeholders;
ii. Planning and implementing a programme of work to embed the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion into our current organisational policies, practices and behaviours, and enhance the equality of opportunity in our activities as an employer and professional/learned body;
iii. Measuring, assessing and reflecting on our progress annually;
iv. Sharing these outcomes with the Science Council and supporting the collective progress of Science Council member bodies through joint learning and sharing good practice.