A think-tank report said that the under-representation of women in engineering in the United Kingdom was far greater than in other European countries, and that the gender gap in this sector represented a missed opportunity to reduce pay inequality in the workforce as a whole. The report recommended measures to shift the perceptions of engineering among girls and their families, to ensure that appropriate subject choices were made at the right points in the education pathway, and to improve the existing initiatives for promoting science, technology, mathematics, and engineering subjects.
Source: Amna Silim and Cait Crosse, Women in Engineering: Fixing the talent pipeline, Institute for Public Policy Research
A special issue of a journal examined gender and educational achievement, presenting papers from across Europe that utilized a range of methodological approaches from different disciplinary backgrounds.
Source: Educational Research, Volume 56 Number 2
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
Ruth Watts, 'Females in science: a contradictory concept?'
Gabrielle Ivinson, 'How gender became sex: mapping the gendered effects of sex-group categorisation onto pedagogy, policy and practice'
Birgit Spinath, Christine Eckert, and Ricarda Steinmayr, 'Gender differences in school success: what are the roles of students' intelligence, personality and motivation?'
A report by a committee of MPs said that women remained under-represented at senior levels across every discipline within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) sectors. It said there was no single explanation for the lack of gender diversity, rather it resulted from a combination of perceptions and biases, plus the impracticalities of combining a career with family. It noted the impact on women of the use of short term contracts for early career posts in academia, which often coincided with a life stage where women were considering motherhood. It called for government to work with the higher education sector to provide more longer-term positions. The report said there was a need for diversity and equality training in the STEM sector, as well as greater mainstreaming of diversity funding to assist efforts to retain women in the disciplines.
Source: Women in Scientific Careers, Sixth Report (Session 201314), HC 701, House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, TSO
A paper examined the long run impact of attending an elite school in the United Kingdom, drawing on data for children born in the 1950s and educated in Aberdeen, Scotland. It said that, for women, elite school attendance increased the probability of gaining A-levels by 23 percentage points, significantly increased income and wages (by 20 percent and 10 percent respectively) and significantly decreased completed fertility (by around 0.5 children). The paper said that, for men, elite school attendance had no effect on income, wages, fertility, or marriage. The paper noted implications for policy.
Source: Damon Clark and Emilia Del Bono, The Long-Run Effects of Attending an Elite School: Evidence from the UK, Working Paper 2014-05, Institute for Social & Economic Research (University of Essex)
A report examined inequalities of gender and ethnicity in apprenticeships in the United Kingdom, drawing on a range of existing and new evidence. It made policy recommendations.
Source: Joy Williams, Beth Foley, and Becci Newton, Report for unionlearn and the National Apprenticeship Service: Research into under-representation, by gender and ethnicity, in apprenticeships, Institute for Employment Studies