The gender gap present in STEM careers is a persistent one. While other industries have seen the balance between men and women begin to improve, the shortage of women within STEM continues to prevail with women making up only 14.4% of STEM workers in the UK. So, why aren’t there more female scientists? It’s not an easy question to answer, and a number of in-depth studies examining the STEM gender gap have reached the same resounding (yet unsatisfying) conclusion: it’s complicated.

To really comprehend the gender gap in STEM careers, we need to look at multiple strands, ranging from socialisation to confidence. The following 3 reasons can help us understand the gender gap in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

1. Socialisation & Gender Stereotypes

Gender roles are generally understood to be the associative qualities, abilities and behaviours we link to a person’s gender. From colour-coded toys (pink for girls, blue for boys) onward, the divide between male from female starts at a young age. So how does this socialisation affect the gender gap in STEM industries?

Well, one study found that by the age of 6, girls are already 52% more likely to associate being 'really smart' with boys rather than girls.

These preconceived notions of intelligence, as well as the idea that there are 'girl subjects' and 'boy subjects', are bound to have a knock-on effect on the number of girls even considering pursuing STEM academically. The impact of this is reflected in university stats; in the USA, for instance, just 35% of STEM graduates are female.

2. Confidence

Confidence may be a key factor in understanding why there aren’t more female scientists. It is human nature to follow that you believe is most likely to end in success. There is a wealth of evidence to indicate that, once you remove social factors from the equation, there is no significant qualitative difference in scientific capability between the sexes – so the male majority in STEM fields can't simply be chalked up to innate scientific ability.

However, males generally display a higher level of confidence in their own scientific competence. This is a likelier explanation for the male-dominated workforce within the science industry.

3. Misconceptions & Disadvantages

It seems that there are a high number of women with the ability to pursue a science-based career who – for whatever reason – don’t choose to go in that direction. Even when women qualify to work within scientific fields, the turnover and drop-out rate of women in STEM fields remains high.

This may be partially explained by some of the misconceptions that surround the STEM industry, as well as the very real disadvantages that some women face. Childcare and maternity leave, for example, are frequently cited as deterrents for women who might otherwise have been interested in pursuing a career in science. Many countries aren't very accommodating towards women who require maternity leave, and this - combined with the general feeling that such a male-dominated industry will not be understanding about maternity requirements - can put female scientists off in a big way.

We hope this blog has helped you to understand some of the reasons why there aren’t more female scientists currently working in STEM industries. This gender gap isn’t an unchangeable state of affairs – many organisations are already working hard to get more girls interested in science and technology from a young age, and this hopefully means that there’ll be an influx of female scientists in the near future. Every little helps, and every woman who enters the STEM industry closes the gender gap a little bit more.

If you’re looking to start a career in STEM, you'll find science, technology and engineering job listings right here on the HRS website.

Browse all current vacancies >

IS&T Sector

Information Systems and Technology is a rapidly-growing sector and has been for many years.

Commonly known as IS&T, many different jobs exist within this field, with more and more continually emerging through the evolution and growth of the industry. From Software Development to Data Management and Cyber Security Engineering, there are all kinds of IS&T roles for all sorts of different people.

But what are the skills needed to work in the IS&T industry and to become successful within this sector?

With such a broad range of roles available, employers within the IS&T industry look for a variety of different skills when seeking out new recruits. Some may seek candidates with expertise in a specific programming language or piece of software, while others may look for a more generic skill set. Here are just a few examples...

Key IS&T Skills

  • Communication – Contrary to the stereotypical view of IS&T professionals as socially-awkward introverts who struggle to talk to other human beings, communication skills are actually imperative within the IS&T industry. This is due to the cross-departmental nature of many roles within the field, where individuals are needed to work across many groups and teams. IS&T professionals often have to supply technological solutions for individuals who lack their expertise, and they are often called upon to discuss problems and solutions in a way that’s easy to understand. Additionally, IS&T professionals are often expected to present ideas and reports to other individuals and groups within the business they work in, again requiring good levels of communication.

  • Time Management – Many professionals within the IS&T sector are required to be self-motivated and self-managed, and a huge aspect of being self-managed requires the ability to have excellent time management skills. Work may often take longer than planned to complete; therefore, as an IS&T professional, you should be able to accurately evaluate how long a specific assignment is going to take to finish and then have the ability to stick to deadlines, whether that’s on a daily, weekly, monthly or task-by-task basis.

  • Coding – Coding is one of the very basic skills that any IS&T professional should possess, as it’s a skill that the vast majority of employers in this sector look for. If a business is looking to hire a programmer, the employer may seek an individual who is competent in multiple languages. Even for roles that may not specifically involve coding, an IS&T candidate should at least have a working knowledge of the simpler coding languages (such as C++ and HTML) and an understanding of the code-writing process in order to participate in software development projects and manage things such as quality assurance. Coding, however, requires more than just aptitude with languages - it requires logical thought, good problem solving skills, the ability to utilise various technologies, and of course an extensive understanding of information systems.

  • Networking – Networking is an extension of communication and concerns the ability to gather groups of people within a working environment to share the things that they know. This is done in order to shape a system of knowledge that is bigger than the parts within it.

These are just some of the many, many skills that a candidate looking for a position within the IS&T industry may be expected to have. Some roles require more specific skills; it is therefore recommended that, before you apply for any IS&T role, you read the full job description and are aware of all the skills required.

View & Apply for IS&T Jobs >

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Careers for Science Graduates

Have you just graduated from university with a science-related degree? And now you're wondering what sort of career path to take? Well, here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we can help find the perfect position for you.

Of course, 'science' covers a huge variety of different fields - from pharmaceuticals to IT - and it can be difficult to decide which area you wish to work in. But that's where we come in: Hyper Recruitment Solutions specialise in pairing science graduates like yourself with the best, most rewarding science careers available.

Despite the competitive nature of the science industry, our list of vacancies is continuously being updated with new and exciting opportunities, so be sure to check our job listings regularly!

Which career path would you like to take?

Here are some of the key scientific fields we work with - use the links below to apply for jobs or learn more about these industries:

All of these sectors are constantly evolving, and each one relies heavily on the efforts of talented and driven science graduates like you. Scientific careers are in high demand due to their challenging, rewarding nature (not to mention the high salaries) - if you're not sure which career path would suit you best, why not take our quick and free What Type of Scientist Am I quiz?

HRS Scientist Quiz

For any advice regarding science careers or job hunting, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the experts here at HRS! We are more than happy to help - contact us today.

diversity in stem

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) diversity is vital to the development of these industries. The lack of diversity in STEM and other scientific fields is often publicised, especially as these disciplines struggle to recruit the number of qualified workers they need.

STEM disciplines have positively affected our lives in thousands of ways. Almost every aspect of the world we live in has been touched by these industries: from medicine to computers to transportation, STEM is vital to our modern way of life. And yet there seem to be relatively few people - especially women and ethnic minorities - looking to train in these areas.

This lack of diversity contributes to the lack of young people in the science industries and diminished opportunities for a number of minorities. For diversity to exist in STEM, those of different races, ethnicities, genders, nationalities, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds must be encouraged to train in scientific disciplines. If diversity in STEM continues to fall short, so will the number of qualified people needed to fill essential positions.

It's important for these industries to actively seek out the participation of underrepresented groups, both in education and when hiring employees. To that end, it's important to understand that unconscious bias can lead employers and educators to neglect some of the scientific talent that's on offer. Diversity in science is necessary to better deliver the advancements humanity is striving for and therefore benefit us all.

If you're interested in finding a job within the STEM industries, browse our latest science jobs here.

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At Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we are committed to pairing talented and passionate candidates with important jobs in STEM industries where they can make a difference. Regardless of gender, ethnicity and background, we endeavour to find the right talent for the right job. We understand that diversity in the science industry is beneficial to everyone.

If you're interested in finding a job that suits your qualifications, skills, and experiences, please contact us today for expert assistance!

As one of the most prestigious and demanding career paths of all, gaining a job in the science industry requires a great deal of time and dedication. If you have a passion for science and always wanted to pursue it as your field of work, we’ve put together a guide on how to get a job in science.


Decide which industry you’d like to work in

The first important question you need to answer is which field of science would you most enjoy working in. With such a wide a varied range of science industries to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you at first.

Here are a few of the main science industries you can choose from:

  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Clinical Science
  • Data Science
  • Astrology
  • Ecology
  • Zoology
  • Biochemistry

School usually teaches you a range of different sciences, which may have given you a taste of each of these industries. However, if you don’t understand a certain area, it’s best to research it thoroughly before ruling it out. This could be the science industry you are best suited to.

To make this process a bit more fun, we’ve created a quiz to help you decide which scientific sector is right for you:

Take the ‘What Type of Scientist Are You?’ quiz here.

HRS Science Quiz

Once you’ve made a firm decision on your ideal science industry, it’s time to work towards pursuing this path.


Gain the relevant qualifications

The next step after deciding on the industry you most enjoy is to consider which job role you're best suited to. In every science industry, there’s a wide variety of different science jobs to choose from, from rocket scientist to lab technician.

Not every scientific job requires the same qualifications, so an important stage in gaining a science job is to ensure you are suitably educated in that field.

Here’s a brief example of the qualifications needed for a range of different science jobs.

*Note: qualification need may differ for job roles in different companies.

Science Job Role

Qualifications Needed

Research Scientist

Masters Degree in a science related field. 
Lab Technician  Certificate Program or Associates Degree
Clinical Trial ManagerBachelor's Degree
Laboratory Assistant At least 4 GCSE's (A*-C grades)

Medical Scientist

PHD in Biological Sciences

 As you can see, the job role you decide on has a large impact on what qualifications you need. You do not need a degree as long as you are a hard worker and willing to work your way up in the company. 

However, many of the higher position science job roles will require you to achieve either a bachelor’s degree, a masters or a PhD. To get a job in science, you need to figure out which job role you’d most like to do and aim for the qualifications needed for that area. 


What skills or traits do I need to get a science job?

The skills you need to get a science job largely depends on the job role you are seeking. If you’d like to work in biological science, you will need to have a keen understanding of human or animal biology and perhaps more specialist skills, like the ability to dissect. If you’d like to be a scientific engineer, you may need specialist research and technical skills.

However, the traits a scientist needs are quite similar across the board. Here’s a look at a few personality traits you’ll need if you want to pursue a job in science.

Logical Thinking 

Scientists need to think about situations logically in all scenarios. They need to provide logical solutions, predictions and conclusions to provide meaningful research and contributions to science. 

Problem Solving

One of the main purposes of science is to solve problems. Chemists work to create medicines which can help heal people worldwide and astrologist help us understand the universe around us. 

Enthusiasm

Jobs in science require a lot of dedication and patience. If you’re not enthusiastic about the subject, you’ll struggle to keep on persevering, which is needed for a job in science. A lot of trial and error occurs in science jobs. 

Objective Thinking

Those who are able to use objective thinking are able to think outside of the box and find solutions to problems others may not have thought of. The ability to be an objective thinker means you do not get swept away with the emotions of a situation and will be able to make a logical decision based on facts and figures, which is important for a job in science.

All of these traits are desirable in a scientific job role. If you feel you naturally have these characteristics, you’re one step closer to your dream job in science. 


Where can I get experience for a job in science?

 Most jobs require experience prior to application, so it’s a good idea to gain some experience before you start looking for a job in science. 

The science industry is highly competitive, so even if you have the qualifications and the skills, you may miss out on the job due to lack of experience. Work experience in a relevant field will make your CV stand out from the rest. Work experience will give you a taste of the job and an understanding of what the role entails. 

If you need a degree for your chosen scientific role, try to find a course that offers a sandwich degree. These degrees are typically 4 years long, rather than the standard 3-year course, and will provide you with the opportunity to try out a year in the industry. 

Some universities will provide a compulsory placement and others will let your source your own company to work at for a year. Either way, this is one of the best places to get quality work experience. 

However, if you’re not doing a sandwich degree, here are a few ways you can gain work experience: 

  • Ask your local job centre if they know about any work experience placements in science
  • Talk to local schools, colleges, universities to source work experience opportunities
  • If you’re in school, ask your job mentor how you can find work experience
  • Take a look at local science apprenticeships 

How do I apply for a job in science?

If you have your qualifications, skills and experience checked off on your list, it’s now time to start hunting for that science job. 

First things first, you need to make sure you have your CV laid out appropriately. As with all CV’s, it should be to the point but should not miss out anything important. All relevant experience should be listed and try to add a bit of personality where applicable. Employers go through hundreds of emails from potential candidates and it’s the unique features which make a CV stand out. 

You need to ensure your CV is the right length too. The length is dictated by the level of your qualifications – therefore, if you reached GCSE/A-Level your CV should be 1 page long, Bachelors/Masters can be 2 and a PhD level can be more. 

We’ve put together a CV advice tips page which should help you out on which sections to include and how you can write them.

Secondly, you need a great cover letter. Most - if not all – science jobs now require a cover letter to let the company know why you’re applying for the job and anything extra that was left off your CV. 

The cover letter on your science job application is a key opportunity to really stand out from the crowd. A good cover letter will let the company know you’re passionate about this job and will be a valuable member of the team. 

Here are a few things to include in your cover letter: 

- Why you are applying for the job

- Why you have chosen that company

- What you think you will bring to the company

- How you fit the job specifications

- Examples of how you have shown what they’re looking for 

However, try to keep it as concise as possible. This is your first impression to the recruiter and they’re not going to read an essay. Try to keep your cover letter between half a page and a page long. That way, you will be able to write punchy statements that will grab the employer’s attention.

Applying for a job in science can be difficult, but there are plenty of resources and companies that will be willing to help. 

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we specialise in finding the right science job for you. Our aim is the place the right candidate in the right job and we have a team of specialists on hand to help you achieve your ambition. 

To find out more about HRS and how we can help you get a job in science, take a look at our about us page. We hope this article will be a helpful resource to help you find the science job of your dreams.