A 2012 employment study at Yale University recognized that a striking imbalance exists in the science field. Researchers found that, between identically qualified applicants to a laboratory manager position, those with male names were viewed as more competent and therefore more likely to be hired than their female counterparts.
This alone is sobering enough, yet the same study also found that male scientists were often offered higher salaries and more mentoring opportunities.
In the last few years, much has been done to try and address this disparity. The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) campaign has put great emphasis on the fact that women make up less than 13% of the UK’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) workforce. Globally, similar figures highlight the underrepresentation of women.
There is now a growing sense that the science industries are recognising the many benefits of creating a more diverse workforce and are taking positive steps towards levelling the playing field.
At Lucite International (LI), we have a lot to celebrate about the many women in our workforce. Women at LI hold a diverse variety of positions – from leadership and managerial positions that help to ensure a growing, sustainable business to R&D, engineering and technical positions that form the backbone of our production operations.
Our female senior manufacturing, business, HR and IT managers are great examples of how equality exists in the leadership of the business, while in all functions women and men work together to deliver the Company’s goals. Accolades among our ranks include one of the first female Young Scientists to achieve professional registration with the Royal Society of Chemistry, and employees regularly speak at events to promote non-traditional careers for women. We feel strongly that this diversity should be celebrated.
To mark International Women’s Day, we are introducing a series of features celebrating some of our female workforce, who are enjoying successful and varied careers in the chemicals industry. Through this and in our on-going work with educational establishments linked with our global operations we hope to inform and inspire a new generation of women to join us and to help us make a difference to people’s everyday lives.
Gender should never be a barrier to what people can achieve; embracing diversity is a key strategy to allow all people to reach their potential.