Inclusivity and diversity in STEM
One of the particular concerns for the STEM sector is the under-representation of groups with particular characteristics and how employers, volunteers and society in general can influence to effect positive change.
The British Science Association targets funding as part of British Science Week to encourage working with lists groups of people who are underrepresented in science, including:
- people who are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME)
- people with low socioeconomic status (SES), including people disadvantaged in terms of education and income
- young people facing adversity, including those not in education, employment or training (NEET)
- people with a disability, defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on someone’s ability to do normal daily activities (Equalities Act 2010)
- people living in a remote and rural location, defined as settlements of less than 10,000 people
- girls and women
Through volunteering, you have an important role to play in recognising and supporting diversity. Often, an awareness of diversity issues will prompt you to ask more questions about the young people you work with.
For example, within any group of young people: Do any of the pupils have special educational needs? Do the pupils come from disadvantaged backgrounds? Are any students gifted and talented? What does this mean for resources you choose and how far you need to adapt chosen resources?