The Geological Society has today made a commitment to improving diversity within the geosciences by signing the Science Council’s Declaration on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.
The Declaration on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion brings together the Geological Society with other learned and professional bodies from across the sciences to work towards increased diversity and inclusion in science education and careers. The Declaration states that:
“By promoting equality, diversity and inclusion the Science Council and its member bodies will create greater opportunity for any individual to fulfil their scientific potential, irrespective of their background or circumstances. In so doing it will also help science to better serve society by attracting the widest possible talent to the science workforce and fostering a greater diversity of scientific ideas, research and technology.”
Global health needs, an ageing population, food and water security and achieving low carbon economies are all driving up demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills. Despites this, there is an estimated annual shortfall in domestic supply of around 40,000 new STEM skilled workers². Improving diversity at all levels of the science workforce is key to meeting this challenge.
It remains the case that women, disabled people, those from ethnic minorities and from socially disadvantaged groups are consistently underrepresented in STEM, particularly at senior levels². Black and minority ethnic (BME) men are 28% less likely to work in STEM than their white counterparts², disabled students 57% less likely to take up postgraduate STEM study than non-disabled students², and there is a gap of 26% between women and men in science, engineering and technology employment³.
“The influence and potential leadership of professional bodies means they are critical effectors of change within the science community,” said Tom Blundell, President of the Science Council. “By signing the Declaration they are showing that they will use that influence to ensure the science workforce is open to everyone.”
To read the Science Council Declaration on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in full and find out more about this initiative, go to http://www.sciencecouncil.org/content/diversity-equality-and-inclusion
- Current and Future UK science workforce, Science Council, 2011
- Improving Diversity in STEM, CaSE, 2014
- Women and men in science, engineering and technology: the UK statistics guide 2010, UKRC, 2010