Science and gender equality are both vital to the advancement of our net zero ambitions. Over the past 15 years, the global community has focused on inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. And yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully.
At present, less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. According to UNESCO, only around 30 per cent of all female students select science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related (STEM) fields in higher education.
Longstanding biases and gender stereotypes are steering girls and women away from science-related fields. It’s the same on screen as in the real world; the 2015 Gender Bias Without Borders study by the Geena Davis Institute showed that, of the onscreen characters with an identifiable STEM job, only 12 per cent were women.
To ensure full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly declared 11 February as International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
If we’re to build the net zero workforce of the future, we need to make sure we attract, recruit and retain the brightest individuals. We’ll only do this by ensuring equal opportunity for all. Here are some of the things we’re doing to make sure this happens:
- In the last year, we’ve run The Job That Can’t Wait campaign prior to opening our new talent applications; with the aim of encouraging potential female candidates to register their interest to new talent programmes and feeding in new female talent at junior levels.
- We are introducing ‘stay interviews’, which build trust and engagement with our female talent, understanding any issues that may exist and addressing them before they become a potential reason to leave the company.
- For over 20 years, we’ve offered Springboard / Spring Forward programmes for junior-level female colleagues. We also have a longstanding women’s network called Women in National Grid (WiNG), which has recently relaunched its strategy to support key areas including training and development, mentoring and supporting the young industry pipeline.
- We’re also piloting a new programme that supports mid-level female managers with all aspects of progressing their careers.
To help us better understand the diversity, talent and development profiles of our current colleagues – and make sure that our inclusion and diversity strategy is helping us build the workforce we need for the future – please take a few moments to update your employee file in MyHub. If you’d prefer not to give a piece of information, you can select ‘Prefer not to say’*. If you’re not sure how to update your file, you’ll find ‘Walk Me’ and ‘How do I’ guides in MyHub to take you through the process.
International Women’s Day is also fast approaching (Sunday 8 March), so look out for more details on what we’re doing to mark the occasion throughout the week running up to the day itself.
* The data collected in your employee file is stored in MyHub, our employee system of record. It’s held securely in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and is fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You can read more in our Privacy Notice**. The data will only be available to, and used by, the People Analytics team in HR. It is used to produce statistics for equality monitoring at an aggregated level, in line with the Equality Act 2010.
** You must be connected to the National Grid network to access this link.