Most of us have heard the acronym STEM. But if pushed, can we say what it stands for?
Today is Ada Lovelace day, a day that celebrates and raises the profile of women in STEM (that's science, tech, engineering and maths). And it's an area which needs a spotlight shining on it, particularly when it comes to recruitment and retention.
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According to new LinkedIn data, the percentage of women in STEM drops by 18% on average between graduation and employment in the UK. Meanwhile, Women account for 40.7% of leaders at the director level in non-STEM roles, whereas in STEM roles this number is just 27.7%. At the VP level the numbers drop to 13.4% for STEM roles, vs 24.1% for non-STEM.
Becky Schnauffer, Head of Global Clients, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, explains: "Getting women through the door at the entry level point is the first step to ensuring fair representation at every level of the business - our data showed an 18% drop-off between the number of women who achieve a STEM degree, and those entering the workforce into a STEM role. There’s a myriad of reasons that could be fuelling this - but it’s clear that one first point of intervention could be to smooth the transition for female STEM graduates from university to the world of work.”
Who was Ada Lovelace?
Ada Lovelace was born Augusta Ada Byron on December 10th 1815, in London, and is often considered the world's first computer programmer following her theory that Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine, could be used not only for calculations but also for creating and manipulating symbols and music if properly programmed. Her notes even included an algorithm for calculating Bernoulli numbers, which is considered the first computer program ever written.