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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10323: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 14 July 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to encourage (a) more girls into taking STEM subjects at school and (b) non-STEM female students and graduates to consider technology-related careers.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 9 August 2017

Improving gender equality is a priority for this Government and we are addressing the under-representation of girls and women in STEM subject courses and careers. Our STEM Education, Training and Lifelong Learning Strategy, to be finalised later this year, will set out how we will promote greater diversity across the uptake of STEM courses and within the STEM workforce.

We are currently supporting the Improving Gender Balance Scotland Project to challenge gender stereotyping in schools, and help young people make informed career decisions. Through the Developing the Young Workforce programme we are taking an integrated approach across education, training and employment to tackle inequality by enabling all young people to develop a range of employability skills to meet market demand, such as those needed by the STEM sector.

We are taking action to encourage women into technology-related careers. We invested over £1 million into the Digital World marketing campaign and Discover Digital World events to raise awareness of the varied and attractive careers available in ICT, particularly amongst women and young people. Going forward, we will also promote flexible working practices to employers, develop a mentoring framework for those considering, or looking to progress in, a career in tech, and create training opportunities for women career changers moving into the sector.