Why diversity is critical
for STEM innovation

Attracting more women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a priority for any company that is serious about making the most of all available talent.

Just a quarter of graduates in STEM subjects are women and only one in seven managers in engineering and tech companies are female. Yet the evidence shows that employing a more diverse workforce, positively impacts a company’s performance and helps them understand the needs of their customers. Women have been responsible for some truly great STEM achievements – although their contribution has often been downplayed or overlooked. It's been more than a century since Ada Lovelace published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a computer and let’s not forget that it was women who wrote the software that put a man on the moon.

But things are changing in the UK with the increase of initiatives to get more women into STEM and raise the profile of women working in these areas. For example, here at Centrica we have set ourselves the target that 40% of all our STEM recruits will be female by 2030. It's time to inspire a new generation of women who will change the world.

We spoke to three women in STEM about what women bring to the workplace, what it takes to succeed, and what is needed to get more women working in STEM.

1. More Diversity Means More Creativity

Rina Ladva is a Director in the Professional Services sector at Microsoft. She says it’s important to get the right mix of people in any team, as greater diversity generates the conflict and creativity that drives successful digital transformation.

2. Women Are The Best Advocates For More Women in STEM

Nicola McCheyne is the Commercial Director of Centrica HEM Ventures (Home Energy Management). She says women currently working in STEM can support and mentor the next generation, inspiring young women to join an exciting and creative sector that is bringing about change.

3. Everyone Needs To Do Their Part

Maria McKavanagh is the Chief Operating Officer of home energy innovator Verv. She argues everyone has a responsibility to encourage younger women into technology, including parents and teachers. The media perception of women in technology is too narrow and needs to change.