Ethnicity and STEM

Magenta coils representing the race equality campaign ethnicity in STEM journey

The business case

  • The STEM sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK, with 1.28 million new STEM professionals and technicians required by 2020 and 80% of this will be needed for work in the engineering sector.
  • Despite the fact that 1 in 5 of the university population in the UK studying STEM subjects comes from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, the STEM sectors have very low numbers of BAME employees with BAME men 28% less likely to work in STEM than white men. 
  • In November 2015 a group of senior business leaders led by Peter Prozesky of EDF Energy conducted a Prince’s Seeing is Believing Visit to address issues and deliver positive change.


Take action

  • Our research Race at the Top provides the most comprehensive picture of BAME representation in leadership in the UK. There are low representation of BAME people in STEM careers
  • Find out more>>
  • Our factsheet gives an insight to the choices made by BAME STEM students by subject, location and gender as well as a preview of the secondary school pipeline. It is designed to offer organisations guidance on where to target recruitment campaigns.

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Moving the agenda forward

•    STEM employers and Youth Advisory Panel attend Ministerial Round Table and call for action led by Department for Energy and Climate Change 

•    Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community joins the Royal Society's Diversity Council.


Increasing employer engagement

Diverse recruitment guidance 

  • Ensure website images include diverse role models. Outreach to non-Russell Group Universities
  • Monitor all stages of the recruitment process in STEM roles and understand BAME progress from sift. Assessment, interview to hire and check and investigate dropout rates.
  • Action unconscious- bias training for recruiters and everyone involved in the selection process from milkround through to the selection panel
  •  Ensure selection panels are diverse and include BAME people in the initial sifting, interviews and assessment centres