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Addressing The Gender Balance In Data Science Careers

The gender gap in the professional world is thankfully, slowly closing, with women now making up 48% of the general workforce. Although this may be the case in general terms, this is not representative of the balance within all sectors.

The tech industry is still falling behind in terms of closing the gap, as women are still drastically underrepresented in the fields of science and technology. Women make up just 24% of the core-STEM workforce; and within the STEM industry, as of 2019 around only 30% of professional data related roles were held by women.

Metrica Recruitment - Data Science

Lack Of Mentorship

It is worth noting the possible reasons as to why this gap even exists. To some degree there is still a lack of encouragement to pursue STEM in early education, meaning females are not exposed to these subjects or skills as often as men. Only 35 out of every 100 STEM students are female. The absence of mentorship for women in data science can also be a relevant contributing factor. This lack of mentorship and guidance can be an off-putting factor for many women looking to explore a career in an industry that is not so familiar, especially one without as many female role models and is so often stereotypically linked to men. Then of course, there is the gender pay gap.

The gender pay gap is another symbol of the discrepancy between applicants and another possible contributing factor to why women are underrepresented in the workplace. Women of all ages should be encouraged to develop an interest in the field of STEM, encouragement will often provide confidence and reassurance to those less sure and this can help them progress into a successful career further on. This encouragement can often start at home. More needs to be done in terms of education programs, events, and campaigns in order to inspire women to pursue and use their degrees within the STEM industry in order to fill roles in data science.


Closing The Gap

Despite these statistics, there are growing support systems and forums for women looking to succeed a career in the world of data. There may be many initiatives that companies and education institutions can provide, however it’s also important for the employer to recognise the value of hiring women in data roles. Women can offer a unique perspective within a role that is currently so dominated by the minds of men. For example; Morgan Stanley's Sustainable + Responsible Investment (SRI) and Global Quantitative Research teams investigated whether gender diversity had any effect on company profit. The survey resulted in finding that the more gender diverse companies were actually able to produce slightly better returns with lower risk. These companies over a six-year period also had a greater level of forward one-year return on equity.


What We Do

Metrica Recruitment is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all of our candidates, helping to advise and place you into roles that reflect your worth and allowing you to professionally grow. Well above industry average, 37% of all the candidates we have placed into data science and analytics roles over the last two years have been women and we are dedicated to growing that statistic further. We have even received an award from Capgemini UK as the supplier supporting and delivering on gender diversity for CCUK.

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