• HM Gov
  • BIG
  • CDC
  • EURF
Funding for business development projects in Cornwall
  • HM Gov
  • BIG
  • CDC
  • EURF
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Funding for busines development projects in Cornwall

International Women's Day - Women in STEM

On International Women’s Day, here at BIG Productivity we celebrate our inclusivity and diversity and the fact that everyone can build rewarding careers in an industry of their choice.

On International Women’s Day, here at BIG Productivity we celebrate our inclusivity and diversity and the fact that everyone can build rewarding careers in an industry of their choice.

With growing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) sectors such as space, renewable energy and the digital economy becoming increasingly important in Cornwall, it’s great to see investment in home-grown talent continuing.

However, these types of industries can be traditionally perceived to be male dominated. The under-representation of women in STEM sectors and subjects in Cornwall, and beyond, remains an issue.

According to STEM Women, UCAS data shows that only 26 percent of STEM core subject graduates were female. Those figures decrease further when looking at certain subjects. Only 16 percent of graduates studying Engineering and Technology and Computer Science respectively were women.

This can also be seen on a more local level, with only 13 per cent of Cornish students taking GCSE Computer Science being female.

While the number of women working and studying in STEM subjects has steadily increased over the past few years, much more needs to be done to see a greater diversity in the workforce.

In Cornwall, we are seeing the promotion of STEM subjects to girls at a much younger age. Cornwall Council has taken a lead in tackling the underrepresentation of girls in STEM subjects and its Education Business Partnership works with employers, schools and colleges to broaden the horizons of young people and challenge stereotypes.

And Cornwall-based TECgirls is a great organisation that aims to encourage girls as young as six to join in technology, creative and engineering activities and clubs in the area. It offers a resource for girls, educators and parents. The TECgirls team hold frequent events for girls, when Covid-19 restrictions allow, and offers a free online magazine.

A new STEM and Health Skills Centre, which will be part of Truro and Penwith College, is currently being built in Bodmin. The centre will offer post-16 opportunities for young people to develop skills and knowledge in emerging sectors, such as aerospace, digital and creative. This state-of-the-art, facility is due to be completed next year and is expected to help 300 young people a year into further education.

From a BIG Productivity perspective, we are delighted to see that several of the Cornish businesses the fund has supported over recent months has had strong female leaders in diverse industries.

While there is much to do to welcome more women into STEM subjects, the seeds have already been sown for girls and young women across Cornwall.

We hope that we can continue to see that enthusiasm nurtured, and that more and more women enter these STEM-based industries, that are vital for Cornwall and its economy.

Find out more and apply for BIG2 funding by clicking here: APPLY HERE