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Powering economic growth: Attracting more young women into Science and Technology

STEM Accenture Research

As Ireland continues to meet its aspirations to be a world-leading centre for the industries of tomorrow in technology, science and engineering, one challenge that is cited again and again by enterprises large and small is that of acquiring and producing the best talent in these crucial industries. That this talent gap in the knowledge industries is a global one is well documented, but it is also now widely recognised that women are vastly under-represented in the science and technology-based careers that will drive the industries of tomorrow and shape all our futures.

Accenture as part of the Women Invent Tomorrow programme with Silicon Republic, carried out extensive research which seeks to identify the barriers and challenges facing parents, teachers and young girls when it comes to making choices about STEM-related subjects at school that will, or will not, facilitate their choices when it comes to the jobs and work world of tomorrow.

We surveyed 1000 female secondary school students, young women (age 18 – 23), post-primary teachers and parents with daughters in post-primary education. Our findings show the real importance and necessity of a joined up approach between Government, Industry and Academia to address the challenge of attracting young women into STEM.

The research shows that parents, students and teachers are grappling with the changing world of work and not enough girls are looking to the STEM subjects as a pathway to a viable career path in STEM related industries.

All stakeholders need to be aware of the ways required to attract more young women to take up careers utilising the STEM subjects. The Report is most welcome as it helps to identify the barriers facing Irish parents, teachers and young girls in making career choices.

This Report is not only important for the education sector but it is also important for industry. It identifies, from both perspectives, what is needed if together we are to remove the obstacles which have so far served to minimise the involvement of young women in the STEM area.

Every digital woman is a triple win- for herself, for her organisation, for the economy!

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