Physics GCSE hits gender parity

Physics GCSE hits gender parity

The 2017 Dashboard shows that 50% of GCSE physics students were girls, hitting the first target set by Talent 2030, the National Centre’s campaign to encourage more girls into engineering. 

“It is encouraging to see gender parity in GSCE physics. However, less than 9% of UK professional engineers are women, and the UK is missing out on valuable innovation and creativity. Business and government must work with academia to achieve real breakthroughs in bringing girls and young women into engineering education and careers.” said David Docherty, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business.

A rise in the proportion of female engineering professionals from 7.8% in 2016 to 8.4% is promising, but still extremely low by European standards. The marginal increase in female engineering undergraduates, and slight decrease in engineering and technology postgraduates and girls studying A-level physics is still alarming when faced with the challenges of Brexit and the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Nicola Swaney, Education Outreach Manager at Rolls-Royce said, “It is great to see that the 50% GCSE physics target has been met, but there's still more we all can do to achieve and maintain Talent 2030 targets. Rolls-Royce is committed to encouraging girls and women to pursue careers in STEM which is why we continue to sponsor the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls each year. We're excited to see the ideas the girls come up with, and can't wait to welcome the winners and runners-up on their visit to Rolls-Royce next year."

To help, the National Centre re-launched its annual Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls last week. To encourage female students to consider careers in engineering, manufacturing and technology, the competition asks them to solve a twenty-first century problem. Open for entries until 6pm on 15th December, the competition winner will be awarded £1000, student membership to the Women’s Engineering Society and will get the opportunity to exhibit to thousands of people at The Big Bang Fair next year.

Notes to editors

The Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls is sponsored by organisations committed to encouraging more women into engineering: Rolls-Royce, Centrica, PepsiCo.

With support from: EDT, Engineering Council, Engineering UK, Stemnet, STEM Ambassadors, The Association for Science Education, Wise, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Crest Awards, Women’s Engineering Society, the Big Bang Fair, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, STEM Clubs, National STEM Centre, National Union of Students and Times Education Supplement.

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB)

Inspiring universities and business to work together for sustainable growth and prosperity.

As a membership organisation, the National Centre brings together leaders from across higher education and business to tackle issues of shared interest.

The National Centre’s Engineering Manufacturing Task Force explored the challenge of maintaining the UK manufacturing base as a strong and vital component of the economy. Talent 2030 is a legacy project from the Task Force report ‘Great Expectations’.

For further information please contact the National Centre on 020 7383 7667

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