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Why Tech Employers should target STEM Subjects with a high number of Female Students…

Women in tech

Stephen Rooney

Find The Candidates That Others Ignore

One reason why employers fail to meet their gender targets is because they focus on a small pool of incredibly sought after female candidates. Each year companies find it harder to stand out from the crowd and when they do offer a candidate that impresses there is a strong chance that she won’t accept.

Here at STEM Women we are keen to highlight the STEM courses that have a majority of female students (they do exist)! We often find that students from these courses have strong academic grades, the ability to analyse and process data effectively and great inter-personal skills. In short, they are ideal candidates for many positions and are well suited to technology roles but many don’t know it and employers don’t reach out to them!

Encourage Applications

Female students studying a majority female course are less likely to have friends and peers working in the Tech Sector. They may well assume that they need a coding language to work in IT, that their degree course isn’t relevant or that it is a male industry.

Companies need to educate potential candidates before their job adverts are looked at. Employers can create case studies highlighting female employees from a non-IT related STEM course. The message will be even more powerful if the application process does not require a coding language or if they are able to provide a training workshop to help candidates through the assessment process.

Overcome Counter Offers

Employers who can encourage students from a Life Science course to consider a career in technology will gain an advantage over competitors. Those students are less likely to be targeted by competitors and so the risk of a counter offer declines.

We’ve heard from many employers who have fallen short of their gender targets because the female candidates who they offered roles to were actively interviewing elsewhere and joined a rival firm.

Create a “Target Courses” List

There is a limit to the number of courses that each graduate recruitment team can target. Is it time that you reflected on the students that you are targeting and reached out to departments who can help you achieve your gender targets?

A high level of data can help companies to focus on different subject areas and the above pie chart offers a starting point. The team at STEM Women has access to data that enables us to drill down and obtain further insight. We know how many female students there are at each university studying every course. By way of an example, the University of Manchester has 440 female chemistry students alone. We can work with employers, highlighting relevant courses that could be targeted.

How STEM Women can help

We can help create and outreach educational content so that students from various STEM disciplines become “aware” of your company brand and career opportunities. We have over 17,000 social followers and relationships with social “influencers” who share our educational content. Companies can also list their vacancies on our job board,, which receives over 48% of its traffic from female visitors. Finally, we can provide employers with access to the data that they need to create their own “target course” list.

To discuss the various options available please request a free, initial consultation. We would be happy to chat through your current hiring strategy and to suggest how you could attract more female applicants. Just call us on 0151 236 8000 or email