Bridging the gender gap in STEM

Having a diverse workforce is crucial to the success of any business. Organisations need to be welcoming, inclusive and a place where people feel empowered to be their best selves. This enables businesses to benefit from a wide variety of unique perspectives and insights which are derived from peoples’ lived experiences and ensures businesses have the dynamism and adaptability to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

The reality is that the corporate world has often been too slow in prioritising diversity and unwilling to hold themselves accountable with regards to how they recruit, train and progress their workforce. This has often resulted in significant demographic disparities in certain sectors that are stereotypically associated with a certain section of society.

This is especially in the case of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) where deep-rooted (and often unconscious) assumptions about who is ‘expected’ to take these topics has led to a significant gap between men and women. According to UCAS data, men take up approximately 75%1 of the core STEM subjects across UK’s universities, with women being over-represented in areas such as healthcare but significantly under-represented in areas such as engineering, computer science and mathematical science.

Kamile, a member of the Code First Girls programme

As we continue to recover from the pandemic, it is therefore critical that we continue to close the STEM gender gap and offer women the opportunity to not only pursue the subject area but achieve meaningful career progression and senior leadership roles where they can help shape the future of the business.

As a leading global company with over 20,000 employees, Experian knows the benefits of a diverse workforce across all areas of expertise. Having a leading edge in STEM underpins its ability to offer innovative products to our clients, protect the financial health of consumers and bring people into the credit market who have otherwise been excluded.

Four female graduates have joined Experian under the ‘Code First Girls’ programme, where women from the UK, Kenya and South Africa are bringing their unique perspectives and skills around coding to help achieve Experian’s ‘United for Financial Health’ programme.

This programme, which empowers people to improve their financial health across the globe, is a crucial way of tackling financial exclusion while communities recover from COVID-19.

Nicole, another member of the Code First Girls programme


“Opportunities like these internships give Code First Girls graduates the chance to continue improving their skills and get real-world experience of what it’s like to work in an international business environment,” explains Anna Brailsford, CEO at Code First Girls.

Experian was also an official partner of the first Women in Data week, where it helped inspire girls to pursue a career in STEM.

“We have big ambitions as a company and achieving these rely on us having the widest range of talent possible,” says Jacky Simmonds, Chief People Officer at Experian.

“Tackling the STEM gender gap is a pre-requisite to achieving these goals. That’s why we have targeted 47% of our total workforce being women by 2024, alongside 40% of our senior leadership team also being women.

“We know that if we continue to live up to our purpose and stay true to our diversity, equity and inclusion ambitions, we will make Experian a better and stronger company in the process.”