Lo hopes that by raising awareness of gender imbalances we will get more women into STEM subjects

Alliance South Belfast MLA Anna Lo has stated that she hopes that the raising of gender issues relating to employment, skills and learning by the Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry, will help to reduce imbalances. Her comments were made after the Employment and Learning Minister made a statement in the Assembly on this issue.

Anna Lo MLA said:”With worrying statistics on gender issues relating to employment, skills and learning, I was heartened that the Minister is giving this issue the priority it deserves.

“In the Further Education sector, around 25% of male participants are studying science and mathematics, engineering and manufacturing technologies or ICT, compared to only 13% of females. In the Higher Education sector, over 70% of students in computer science and over 75% of those studying engineering and technology are male. And in employment, in STEM related industries, only 25% of employees are female.

“By raising awareness around these issues, I hope that we will see this imbalance addressed.

“If we do not seek to encourage more women into STEM subjects and jobs, then we will miss a great opportunity to grow our economy. By encouraging women to have the same level of participation as men in key sectors such as ICT, we could encourage more inward investment.

“While the Executive has a number of strategies and is looking to work with schools and higher and further education colleges, there must also be a sea change in cultures and attitudes towards women in STEM subjects and jobs.”


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