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Science, Technology and Emerging Industries: Girls and Young Women

Volume 682: debated on Wednesday 21 October 2020

What steps she is taking to encourage girls and young women to lead in science, technology and emerging industries. (907856)

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.