Written evidence submitted by Louise Juliff, Team Leader (STEM Facilitation), Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council



As a female that has been involved in STEM for my whole career, I felt it necessary to submit a personal submission to the inquiry on diversity in STEM. 

I completed an undergraduate degree in Design and Technology with Qualified Teacher Status in 2007 and then studied for a Masters in Education: Leadership and Management whilst teaching.  As a former secondary school teacher and Head of Design and Technology department in a deprived South Wales valleys school, I have taught all aspects of Technology, Engineering and some elements of Mathematics.  I also work for WJEC as a reviewer, moderator and examiner.  I am now Team Leader for the STEM Facilitation Programme in Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, which is funded by Welsh Government as part of the Tech Valleys Initiative.

I would be happy to give additional evidence to the committee if required.


UK STEM Industry

Figures from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM demonstrate the issue of the gender gap in STEM is still too prevalent; they carried out a data analysis which was published in November 2020. 

In the UK only 27% of the STEM workforce is female. In Wales there has been an increase in the number of females employed in STEM occupations but Wales still has the lowest proportion of females in STEM occupations.  In London 29% of the workforce is female and in Northern Ireland 30% are female. 

It is clear that STEM careers will experience some of the highest levels of growth of any industry and if the skills gaps are going to be filled half of the population cannot be ignored.

Within the areas that the Tech Valleys initiative is focussing on:

In engineering the stand-out figure is that 91% of the engineering workforce is male. However, in the technology sector 79% of the workforce is male.

Download.ashx (britishscienceassociation.org)


Why is there an issue with Diversity and Inclusion in STEM?

I have outlined a range of reasons which may contribute to the issue of diversity and inclusion in STEM.  These are from my own experience of working in four secondary schools in disadvantaged areas, and from teacher feedback.













So many learners in deprived areas rely on their schooling to expose them to different experience and ideas.  The phrase may be sometimes overused but “You cant be what you can’t see” certainly rings true and needs to be addressed on a consistent basis across the UK.


(May 2022)