Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Equality: Mind the gender gap

More female students must take up physical sciences to meet demand in UK technical sectors.

A report by a UK non-profit agency says that UK businesses need more technicians, manufacturing leaders and engineers, and that more women must earn degrees in physical sciences to meet the demand. Target 2030, from the National Centre for Universities and Business in London, notes that just 9.5% of science and engineering professionals in the United Kingdom are women. In 2013, women represented about one-fifth of physics students at pre-university-qualification levels, and the gender gap in the subject is widening. The report notes that women with physical-sciences degrees have higher employability rates than their male counterparts, and calls for a campaign to attract more female students into the higher-education pipeline in physics, maths and related disciplines.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Research policy: Only wholesale reform will bring equality

Gender divide in physics spans globe

Science gender gap probed

Data show extent of sexism in physics

Nature In the Field blogpost on women at APS conference

Nature Nautilus blogpost on gender equality in physics research

Related external links

National Centre for Universities and Business blogpost and report

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Equality: Mind the gender gap. Nature 508, 141 (2014).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing