Why We Focus On The T In STEM

Written by: Rhiannon on September 21, 2023

At InnovateHer, we believe that inspiring 13-17-year-olds gives us the best chance of closing the gender gap within the tech industry.

When looking at the current talent pool and pipeline, it’s obvious we need to go further back and inspire the next generation. By focusing on secondary school education, we can encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to enter the tech-skilled workforce. Enriching the talent pipeline and encouraging a more equal future.

But why tech?

And why tech instead of all STEM subjects?

Well, the amazing thing about the technology industry is that it crosses such a wide range of skills and jobs. Within most industries now, there will be a need for tech. It is a diverse and interesting industry which is becoming even more vital.

Why InnovateHer focuses on the tech element of STEM and STE(A)M

Within STEM, the tech industry has a huge impact on global economies and is constantly growing. Currently worth roughly $5.2 trillion, investing in the tech workforce and encouraging diversity is critical for businesses looking to remain competitive and successful.

But more importantly, and this is where we fit in, the tech industry is in desperate need of a shake-up.

Globally speaking, women hold fewer than 20% of leadership positions in the tech industry, with only 10-15% of CEOs in the tech industry being women. The figures fluctuate (depending on your source), but on average, women occupy between 19-28% of the tech workforce.

In real terms, we need 3.9 million women to enter the tech industry to create a gender-balanced workforce.

And according to the UN, if we reach gender equality, GDP per capita could increase by almost 20%– imagine the impact.

Technology is connected to all elements of STEM

Digital skills aren’t just in demand for the tech industry. As we progress, technology is becoming more prevalent in all industries. From agriculture to transport, technology helps increase the efficiency of systems, products and services.

We’re seeing AI take on healthcare management, retail giants adopting digital services to supercharge profits, and even robot lawyers such as the DoNotPay app.

Technology is seen in all of STEM.

It’s been interesting, even to us, how truly entwined it all is. Last year, we worked with BAE Systems, looking at their engineering opportunities and meeting engineering role models. At this point, we had to question, are we now offering engineering? And where do we sit on STEM subjects at school?

But the honest answer is we’re looking at the tech skills within engineering. Just as we’re looking at how tech is connected to art subjects through digital design, animation and UX.

Why is tech important?

All STEM subjects at school are important. From looking at current curriculums, tech is the most interesting. It is so much more than IT and Computer science. Tech skills, in industry, are everywhere.

So how can we teach tech skills across different subjects and show students that their interest in art, geography or sport – might actually lead them to a career in the tech industry?

Well, that’s where programs like ours come in. Courses such as beginners coding for secondary school students allows schools to plug and play skill sets which may sit outside traditional subjects. This allows students to expand their knowledge and horizons without having to confine themselves to one subject.

It is a more accurate approach to how expansive technology is within the real world. It’s geared to help girls and non-binary students, and it’s also free for all schools to use, so that’s pretty cool too.

So, to round it up…

Why does InnovateHer focus on the T in STEM?

If you would like more information on how you can use InnovateHer Online in your school, contact the InnovateHer school team at study@innovateher.co.uk, where we will be more than happy to help!

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