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LEADING UK EQUALITY ORGANISATION REVEALS

LEADING UK EQUALITY ORGANISATION REVEALS WOMEN ARE STILL GROSSLY UNDER-REPRESENTED IN THREE ESSENTIAL JOB SECTORS
The UKRC, the Governments leading organisation advancing gender equality in the key sectors of science, engineering and technology (SET), will highlight the ways in which employers are frequently missing opportunities to recruit and retain women this month.
In an engaging new report entitled Women Mean Business: Why Gender Equality is Essential in Science, Engineering and Technology, the UKRC will reveal some shocking statistics on how females are frequently under-represented in SET occupations, how they are often not using their SET-related degrees or reaching the boardroom of top SET companies.
But the report, which will be unveiled at Westminster in London on Wednesday 14 July in front of MPs, invited delegates and women working in SET, will offer some practical solutions on how to not only reverse this imbalance but boost business performance.
The report coincides with the launch of the new Equality Act 2010 which will put further pressure on employers to recruit more women to comply with strengthened discrimination legislation coming into force in October.
Annette Williams, Director of the UKRC, which provides vital information and advisory services to businesses, organisations and women working in SET,
says the report will ultimately demonstrate how women represent economic value to the British workforce in the increasingly important fields of science, engineering and technology (SET).
In a time of cut backs and austerity, science, engineering and technology are key to the future well-being and prosperity of the UK yet research increasingly indicates that the exclusion of women represents a loss of talent and can result in poorer decision making, said Annette.
In 2008 nearly 13 million women were working in the UK of these only 5.3 per cent were in SET occupations.
And in 2008 some 620,000 women in the UK were graduates in these subjects in but a staggering 70 per cent of them were not working in these occupations an estimated 2bn loss to the UK economy as a result.
In the same year women held only nine per cent of board directorships in the leading science, engineering and technology FTSE 100 companies and exclusively male boards still existed in 35 percent of SET companies.
This situation has got to change as gender equality is not just a matter of social justice its absolutely essential for forward looking organisations and good for business.
The report cites research that finds including women at senior level can have a positive impact on key business indicators such as return on equity, sales and invested capital.
It has already received backing from MPs from all political parties and UKRC director Annette Williams has also spoken on the pressing issue at a debate at the United Nations in New York earlier this year.
I was delighted to be invited to take part a prestigious debate on gender equality in SET on the world stage at the United Nations and promote the work of the UKRC, said Annette.
It was good to hear what is happening in other countries and look at how we can learn from others in the UK to put gender equality at the heart of the recovery from the recession.

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