Women are under-represented in public appointments in the Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) sector. Greater representation would benefit the future productivity of the UK and the lifetime earnings and career aspirations of women. Public appointment allows women to contribute to SET and society, offers the chance to acquire new skills and knowledge, and to work with new people.
UKRC was launched in September 2004 as the Government’s lead organisation to supply advice, services and policy consultation regarding the under-representation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET).
UKRC is working in partnership with the Government to effect 40% female representation on SET public bodies by 2011. According to figures compiled by UKRC in 2006 and based on Cabinet Office data, women members currently comprise 26% of the 59 public bodies making decisions about SET. The overall representation of women as new appointees and re-appointees to public bodies was 36.6% in 2006. Further, 92% of directors of SET firms are men, compared to 87.5% in non-SET firms. p>
There are 2 strands of the UKRC’s strategy in relation to public appointments. p>
1. To build the supply of women applying for public appointments generally, and targeted SET bodies.
2. To work with government departments on demand within the recruitment process.
UKRC’s specific supportive actions include:-
- Promoting and disseminating information regarding vacancies on their website and to contacts,
- Mentoring scheme to support women interested in appointments to public bodies.
- ‘GetSETWomen’ online database to raise the visibility and profile of women in SET, and give relevant information regarding vacancies and seminars
- Working with Government departments, Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) and the Cabinet Office on best practice and support,
- Best Practice Guides in the gender equality area; and consultancy services to raise awareness, alongside others involved in the process such as recruitment agencies.
For further information regarding the work of UKRC, click here and here.