International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Championing Gender Allies in STEM Hiring

12th February 2024

As we mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science, it is a timely opportunity to reflect upon the pivotal role we, as an executive search firm, can play in shaping the landscape of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) industries and roles. We help by championing the hiring of more women into senior STEM roles. We find and support the hiring of not only people who are great at their jobs, but who also care about making sure everyone has a fair chance to succeed, no matter their gender. These “genders allies” can help foster an environment where women not only enter, but thrive in scientific careers. 

Recent research underscores the persistent gender gap in STEM fields, which starts before entry to the workforce. According to data from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), women are significantly underrepresented in STEM subjects at university level. In 2020/2021, only 35% of students enrolled in STEM-related subjects were women. This disparity is mirrored in the workforce. The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that women make up just 24% of the STEM workforce in the UK, despite comprising almost half of the total workforce. This highlights a critical need for concerted efforts to address gender imbalance and promote inclusivity within STEM fields.

As previously mentioned, one way executive search businesses can help, is by recognising the influence we could have in shaping the composition of STEM workforces. By prioritising candidates who not only possess technical expertise but also demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion, recruiters can catalyse positive change within organisations. These “gender allies” are candidates of all gender who actively support and advocate for women in STEM fields. They challenge biases, promote equal opportunities, and help create a work environment where all individuals, regardless of gender, can thrive and contribute meaningfully. 

By championing gender allies in STEM hiring, executive search firms can help change the culture in STEM organisations and in all organisations where STEM roles are imperative. Diversity and inclusion are not just the right things to do, they also help drive innovation, creativity, and organisational success. 

As we celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are reaffirming our commitment to supporting the breaking down of barriers and creating pathways for women to excel in STEM fields. 

In particular we want to celebrate all the women we have recently supported in gaining senior STEM roles including: 

  • Director of Impact & Charitable Programmes for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity
  • Site Medial Director at Kings College Hospital
  • Chief Executive of the Royal Statistical Society
  • CEO of the Small Piece Trust
  • Chief Digital Officer at the National Institute for Health Research
  • CIO at Imperial College of Science and Technology 
  • Head of Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Brunel University, London

We look forward to supporting with the recruitment of many more women and gender allies into senior STEM roles in the future and if you would like to discuss anything discussed in this article or your own recruitment needs then please do get in touch

1. Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) – United Kingdom. Available at:
2. Office for National Statistics (ONS) – United Kingdom. Available at:

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