We are making good progress in getting more girls and women into science, technology, engineering and maths, with a 31% increase in girls studying STEM subjects since 2010 and 1 million women now working in core STEM occupations.
Professor Sarah Gilbert in vaccine research; Kate Bingham in vaccine operations; Baroness Harding in testing; Dr Jenny Harries in medicine—all fantastic examples of highly qualified professionals leading the UK’s response to this once-in-a-century pandemic, and they all happen to be women in STEM. Does my right hon. Friend agree that they are setting a wonderful example for future generations of girls and boys in South Ribble, Lancashire and beyond?
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. They are a huge asset to our country, but having more women in STEM is also helping to close the wage gap and helping our economy to recover post covid. Around 35% of the wage gap can be overcome if we get more women working in high-paid occupations and sectors such as engineering and technology.