The gender gaps in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) persist.
While the number of women joining these fields is slowly increasing, they are still greatly outnumbered.
Only less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women. Those who are working in STEM are paid less for research, publish less and do not progress as far in their careers as men.
Effort has been made in many parts of the world to increase the representation of women in STEM. This can be seen with the 6.3 million women scientists and engineers in the European Union in 2019, resulting in them representing 43% of the STEM employees.
The best UK universities understand this reality and have tailored programmes encouraging more women success stories. If you are looking for STEM programmes that are taking steps to close this gender gap, look no further:
University of Portsmouth
There’s plenty of support and inspiration for women STEM students at the University of Portsmouth. Here, everyone, regardless of their gender, can realise their passions, with the support of a top 20 uni for its careers service (Student Crowd, 2021).
Those who seek to use science, mathematics and empirical evidence to design, plan, build and maintain things like engines, and machines, power systems, buildings and structures will find the education they need here. The university offers degrees in several areas of engineering: Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Energy Engineering.
The School of Mechanical and Design Engineering is dedicated to producing graduates who are ready to take on the workforce and make a positive impact on society through their work and research. Programmes offered include Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering BEng (Hons) and Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons)/MEng, among others.
The culture is open and welcoming; the lecturers and experts are experienced and supportive. Lessons focus on practical skills and employability — the kind that puts students on track to many forms of success. Adele Gibb, an MEng Mechanical Engineering student, can attest to this. She’s part of the Formula Student Car team, spending the whole year designing, manufacturing and testing the car before the big race in July.
“I helped design the anti-roll bar system and the spring suspension, then as I’ve got further in my degree, I’ve moved over to the operations side to help with clothing, branding and sponsorship,” she says. “I’ve loved being on the team and the contacts that you make are priceless. To learn more about how the school is inspiring more women around the world to follow their passion for engineering, click here.
Bangor University’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering presents several opportunities for students to learn more about the latest computing and electronic technologies developments. Facilitating this growth is a wide range of courses taught by world leaders in an even broader range of technologies.
These courses are accredited by professional bodies like the British Computer Society and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Additionally, the school ranked among the top 10 for student satisfaction in the UK this year. It also achieved the TEF Gold standard in teaching excellence in 2017.
When it comes to research, the theme of excellence persists. From AI and pattern recognition to data visualisation; medical microwave electronics and medical simulation; optoelectronics, broadband and optical communications –– amongst many more –– students undertake their individual and team projects in close collaboration with their mentors who double as professors.
Students also get to apply their knowledge in computer and networking laboratories, a state-of-the-art electronic laboratory, extensive research laboratories and a Class 1000 electronics cleanroom.
It’s an experience open to all, and Bangor has the recognition to prove it. Last year, the school was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award for its ongoing commitment to gender equality among staff and students.
University of Stirling
The University of Stirling’s Computer Science and Software Engineering programme develops the ability to design, build and analyse computer systems in its students.
Ranked 35th for Computer Science in 2022 according to The Complete University Guide, this course focuses on the theory and techniques that will be applied once entering the workforce.
Through creativity, logical analysis, problem-solving and teamwork, students will explore the interfaces between computer science, mathematics, life and health sciences, as well as management, finance and social sciences.
As part of the undergraduate programme, students can take on a placement course with either local small and medium enterprise businesses as well as large corporates.
To encourage and support women in the field, their Women in STEM society was created. Under the Student Union, it caters towards women interested in STEM subjects. They aim to break barriers and encourage women to go after their interests by celebrating and connecting them with employers.
Five undergraduate courses are offered — Business Computing, Computing Science, Data Science, Software Development with Cyber Security, and Software Engineering.
“I chose Stirling because it’s one of the few universities offering a business and computer science course. On top of that, the campus is incredible and a fun place to be. Studying here has provided me with perfect foundation knowledge, as well as practical experience to figure out what exactly I want to do after I graduate,” shares Business Computing student Anna Eglite.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International