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 >

Contract Science Jobs

Contract work has become increasingly popular in recent times for both businesses and workers within the science industry. This is due to a number of reasons, such as:

  • Covering long-term leave
  • Coping with periods of peak demand
  • The rise of project-based work
The choice to employ contract workers can bring wide-ranging benefits to science companies. These include cutting costs, increasing productivity, obtaining and utilising specialised skills, and enhancing flexibility within the workforce.

However, it’s not just organisations that can benefit from the rise contract work - there are lots of advantages for the workers themselves, too.

Benefits of Contract Working

1. Ownership – Ownership of your work is one of the major psychological benefits that come with contract work. Instead of having ‘managers’ and ‘bosses’, individuals and companies that you work with can be seen as ‘clients’ and ‘customers’, and this can make a massive difference in how you feel regarding your freedom and independence whilst working.

2. Utilising your strengths and interests – One of the main benefits of working as a contractor is the ability to focus on the skills and areas of expertise that you possess - after all, these are the attributes that will get you hired. The science company that you work for will be focused on your unique personal abilities, which usually leads to greater recognition for your professional accomplishments.

3. Build experience quickly – Short-term contract work (where contractors move from role to role and company to company fairly quickly) will bulk up your CV very quickly, giving you a broad and varied array of working experiences. By working in different environments and varied roles, you become exposed to different duties and challenges, and this can be extremely valuable both for future employment and within your everyday life.

4. Variety – Related to the above, contract work allows you to experiment with different roles and experience a variety of positions, rather than being stuck in one permanent role. Working with different people, for different people, at different companies can be a massive benefit to contract workers, and as a bonus, they get to avoid the office politics that can occur within longer-term roles.

5. Higher pay – Though not always guaranteed, working as a contractor can bring the benefit of higher pay. Due to companies not having to pay for health care and other employee benefits when working with contractors, they are sometimes able to offer a higher wage instead.

6. Work for yourself – The last and perhaps the most rewarding element of contract work is the ability to say that you ‘work for yourself’. A number of contract jobs, especially within the science industry, allow the worker a certain amount of flexibility and freedom - for instance, the freedom to choose the contract length and/or location of work.

Contracting Through HRS

Hyper Recruitment Solutions is a company that stands by its candidates. We aim to provide a reliable and honest service that you can trust. When we help you to search for contract science jobs, you will enjoy a number of advantages, including:

  • Choice – We work with an extensive portfolio of clients in STEM sectors, so you will not be limited when it comes to choosing your contract. Whether you would like to work with SMEs or big pharmaceutical companies, you are sure to find something that’s right for you.

  • All the help you need – Your HRS consultant will make the process of choosing and obtaining the right jobs as easy as possible for you. By providing expertise and advice on roles, companies and industries, assisting with CV presentation and interview preparation, and giving follow-up support after a successful placement, our experienced consultants go above and beyond to ensure that you are fully supported.

  • Expertise – As science industry experts, we possess an in-depth knowledge of each specialist sector, putting us in the best possible position to represent you.

  • Timesheet portal – Once you have successfully found contract work, you and the company will gain access to our fully automated, easy-to-use online timesheet portal to make the whole process paper- and hassle-free.

To browse our latest contract science jobs, go to our Job Search page and select 'Contract / Temporary / Interim' under Contract Type. Alternatively, contact us now for expert guidance on seeking contract work in the science industry.

Browse All Science Jobs >

Why Biotechnology

Put simply, biotechnology is the practice of developing technology through the study of biology.

Through the utilisation of both biomolecular and cellular processes, technologies and products are created that assist in developing the overall health of our planet and our lives. We have been using the biological processes of microorganisms in the development and preservation of food products for more than 6,000 years - however, more recent biotechnological advances have been used to:

  • Fight devastating and uncommon diseases
  • Decrease and clean up our energy use
  • Lower our environmental impact
  • Create more efficient / effective industrial manufacturing processes

This has led the biotechnology industry to be segmented into two distinct markets: medical and agricultural.

Both of these markets have experienced revolutionary progress in research, business strategies and development programmes to uncover, change and create biomolecules and organisms through the use of biotechnology.

Presently, more than 250 biotechnology vaccines and healthcare products exist, many for diseases which were previously untreatable. Additionally, more than 13 million farmers worldwide use agricultural biotechnology to improve yields, prevent damage from pests and insects, and decrease their overall impact on the planet. More than 50 biorefineries are in development across North America to assess and perfect technologies that create chemicals and biofuels from renewable biomass, which assists in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Uses of Biotechnology

Recent developments in the biotechnology industry are being used to aid in overcoming some of the world’s most demanding challenges, such as:

  • Fuelling the World – Biological procedures such as fermentation and the harnessing of biocatalysts such as yeast and enzymes are used by biotechnologists to create microscopic manufacturing plants. This is helping fuel the world by decreasing the use of and reliance on petrochemicals, reducing waste generation and water usage, and delving into the full potential of traditional biomass waste products.

  • Healing the World – By using our own genetic makeup, biotechnology can guide research and save lives by developing more accurate methods for disease detection, decreasing the occurrence of infectious disease, and personalising treatments to the individual to lower health risks and minimise side effects.

  • Feeding the World – Biotechnology has helped to make crops more insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant while also enabling the use of more environmentally-friendly farming practices. This helps feed the world by generating higher crop yields with far fewer inputs, creating foods free of toxins and allergens, and producing crops with improved nutrition profiles that help solve nutrient and vitamin deficiencies.

With all of this in mind, it is easy to see why biotechnology is such an ever-changing and dynamic industry, and why jobs within this sector are so highly sought-after. Roles within the biotechnology sector are very diverse, resulting in plenty of opportunities to choose from when entering the field. Here at HRS, we are constantly recruiting for jobs within this industry, so no matter where your interests lie, we are sure to have something for you.

Browse Biotechnology Jobs >

Pharmaceutical roles can be very rewarding, and there's a lot of demand in this sector right now!

Pharmaceutical Role

The pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in healthcare. After all, medicines have the potential to diagnose, cure and prevent diseases and illness. This means you could be involved in saving lives and helping others every day.

But if that isn’t a convincing enough reason to get involved in this industry, below we outline our top five reasons why you should consider a career in pharmaceuticals.

1. It's extremely rewarding

First of all, working in a pharmaceutical role can be extremely rewarding. As mentioned above your work and knowledge can save lives and help others – what’s more rewarding then that!

Everything you do will make an impact. Whether this is providing advice to someone on the best remedies for their back pain or informing someone on the correct dosage for their prescription. And this means that you’ll leave work every day feeling positive and satisfied that you’re making a real difference.

What’s more, you will be interacting with patients and their families. You will be able to see the struggles people are facing and connect with them as individuals. This can be fulfilling as you see the results of your assistance first hand.

2. Large demand in the industry

It goes without saying that people will always need medication. Think about how many pharmacies are in your local area, most places will have one every five miles. The pharmaceutical industry isn’t restricted to the typical Lloyds Pharmacy in towns either, there’s pharmaceutical roles in hospitals and laboratories too. After all, people have to research, check and monitor the safety of new drugs and treatments before they are used in mainstream procedures.

Therefore, you will have brilliant job security as there are a huge number of opportunities available in the industry. This can be very reassuring, especially given the ongoing economic uncertainty in the UK right now.

3. Career opportunities

When considering what career path to take it’s important to think about the future prospects. Working in a pharmaceutical role won’t disappoint in this area and can have brilliant opportunities for career progression. There are many different paths you can take in the industry and each has room for progression and promotion.

For example, as a community pharmacist there will be chances for you to work in managerial roles or you could even set up your own business. This means that you can rest assured that choosing a career in pharmaceuticals leaves you open to a range of opportunities.

4. Salary

The average salary for a pharmacist can range from anywhere between £26,500 and £83,000 a year according to the National Career Service. This salary is above the average UK earning, another huge benefit of working in this industry. And with experience, you can expect to be on the higher end of this pay range as well.

As with many jobs, the more responsibilities you take on, the bigger pay packet you can expect. Plus, there may be opportunities to earn more than this for those who choose to manage their own pharmaceutical company or climb up the ranks in a specific area.

5. Flexibility

The flexible nature of jobs in this industry is a good reason to consider a pharmaceutical role. First, wherever you live or want to live, there will be job prospects for you whether that’s in a big city, the countryside or even abroad. Not many jobs have these prospects so it’s great if you want the freedom to choose where you work.

Furthermore, unlike many health sector professions you will have more flexibility in your work hours. While some pharmacists may have to work overnight shifts it’s also common to work traditional 9 to 5 hours at many places too. Also if you want to work part-time this would be possible to arrange.

In conclusion

If you want a rewarding job with a chance to help people every day and make a difference, you should consider a pharmaceutical role. While there may be challenging aspects to a job in the healthcare sector, it can provide you with a brilliant career full of prospects and opportunities!

This post was written by CV-Library, one of the fastest-growing job boards in the UK. CV-Library hosts over 165,000 jobs every month: from software development to sales. It also owns a range of sector specific career sites, including JobsMedical.

The CRO / CMO industry has grown a lot in recent years. If you're looking to start a career in this sector, we at HRS can help you - view our CRO / CMO jobs here, or read on to learn all about the CRO and CMO industry and why it's flourishing right now.

Contract Research Organisations (CRO)

A contract research organisation is an organisation that is contracted by another firm (usually within the biotechnological, medical device and pharmaceutical industries) to provide outsourced research services.

CROs are popular because they offer a more cost-effective solution for firms seeking to produce new medicines for large and niche markets alike. By outsourcing research to CROs, the costs of conducting a trial are reduced massively as the firm will not need the infrastructure, space or manpower to run trials or conduct research themselves. Before CROs became an established method of pursuing approval for a drug, many companies would only take action when there was a sense of guaranteed approval for large markets.

This has made research into new medicines a much more feasible and affordable prospect for the average firm, reducing their general overhead costs. CROs provide a comprehensive range of services, including:

  • Clinical trial data management
  • Quality and metric reporting
  • Data entry and validation
  • Full project management

The fast growth of the CRO industry is evidence of the drastically changing pharmaceutical sector and how companies are adapting their methods to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of shareholders and society.

Contract Research Organisations

Contract Manufacturing Organisation (CMO)

A contract manufacturing organisation also serves other firms within the pharmaceutical industry on a contractual basis, but instead of providing research services, CMOs offer comprehensive drug development and manufacturing services.

Again, this assists the hiring company with scalability and allows them to focus on more important areas of their business, such as research or marketing. Alternatively, pharmaceutical firms may outsource drug manufacturing work to a CMO if they lack the expertise or facilities required to produce the quantity and/or form of a drug that is needed to perform pre-clinical and clinical trials.

The demand for the services that CMOs offer has resulted in fast growth for the CMO industry over the last decade, and this will continue as the need for CMOs increases. There are several promising trends within the CMO industry that are likely to accelerate further growth in the near future, including:

  • Flexible manufacturing plants – CMOs can invest in flexible manufacturing facilities that are designed to accommodate the changing needs of the pharmaceutical firms they cater for.

  • Cytotoxics – Cytotoxics is an area that has not received much attention but provides an opportunity for significant growth for the CMO industry due to the implications for cancer treatment.

  • Automation – The rise of automation within the CMO industry will see a reduction in the need for continuous checking of verification labour, ensuring consistency and reliability and increasing productivity levels.

CRO CMO Industry

Here at HRS, we have expertise and experience in both CRO and CMO industries, so if you’re interested in working in either of these sectors, we can help you!

View current CRO/CMO vacancies >

Contact Hyper Recruitment Solutions >

User Menu

Posts by Keyword

Month List