Gender inequalities in STEM run deep, and the pandemic has made them worse. Initiatives aimed at making engineering in particular more diverse and inclusive had not yielded the results we would have liked to see even before the outbreak of COVID-19. Over the last 18 months, gender pay reporting has been suspended in the UK, the global gender gap has grown by 36 years, according to the Global Gender Gap Report, and gender differences in career ambitions in engineering and technology have deepened. As of June last year, 11 percent of UK engineers were female—the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe.
But the contribution made by the world’s scientists, technologists and engineers over the course of the pandemic is beyond question. And now, as we appear to be near the tail-end of the crisis, gender parity in engineering and the other STEM fields is more important than ever.
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