As part of the Royal Society's diversity programme, we are promoting and showcasing the best examples in recruitment and retention where initiatives and schemes have successfully improved the diversity of the workforce, in particular the representation of women, disabled people and those from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Call for case studies Photo credit: Medical Research Council

Our bank of case studies will help to build a picture of the strategies and employment tactics science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) based organisations are using to increase the diversity of their workforce and help their businesses grow.

We are pleased to publish a further three best practice case studies from BAE Systems, BT and Microsoft to join previously published case studies from Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, FDM, Atkins and Caterpillar; as well as individual testimonies from employees of University College London and North Energy Associates.

Do you work in science, technology, engineering, maths or medicine (STEMM)? Are you an employer in a STEMM or a STEMM-related sector with real-life examples or case studies that have increased the diversity of your workforce?

We want to hear about the best recruitment and retention initiatives in the UK, those you are most proud of because of the difference they have made, and in return help bring you the recognition you deserve. We particularly welcome submissions from small and medium sized enterprises and those from emerging industries.

If you would like to submit a case study please use the submission form (DOC). If you require support or guidance developing a case study, please contact the Diversity Team at

Department of Health
The Department of Health (DH) currently has 11 recognised staff networks spanning most of the protected characteristics defined in the Equality Act 2010. The networks in DH cover: Disability, Race, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), Religion, Women, Maternity and Flexible working. DH also has a number of Staff Groups that provide targeted support to staff, such as domestic abuse, health and wellbeing and dyslexia.
Read the case study (PDF) 

“Confidence is key for women progressing within IT so by bringing the components of role models, inspiration and sponsorship together we hope to create interest in women to follow a career path they might not previously had the opportunity to follow and to tap in to the huge number of women who are qualified to work in IT but have never pursued it.”
Read the case study (PDF)

“BT is very proud of its well established and diverse networks for employees. The networks create a communication channel between members and the business; create developmental opportunities for members; enhance the corporate brand and work with our Inclusion team to plan and implement our diversity and inclusion strategy”
Read the case study (PDF)

BAE Systems
“At BAE Systems we value diversity because it benefits our people and helps our business grow. There are many ways in which we are supporting a more diverse and inclusive environment, and one such opportunity we saw was to create an additional route into our summer internship programme for individuals who are female and/or from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic group.”
Read the case study (PDF)

B-MEntor is a cross-institutional mentoring scheme to support BME early career researchers and is run by 3 London based universities: University College London (UCL), Kings College London and Queen Mary University of London. B-MEntor was launched in 2012 and some of its aims include encouraging BME staff to take on leadership and decision-making roles and to make a positive difference to BME staff with sustainable outcomes.
Read the case study (PDF)

Jaguar Land Rover
“Jaguar Land Rover has created the Women in Engineering Sponsorship Scheme- a unique scheme to support the training of female engineers alongside their degree.”
Read the case study (PDF)

“Atkins’ endeavours have demonstrated that we are prepared to push ahead and offer something new to prospective employees, which should stand us out from our competitors.” 
Read the case study (PDF)

“Only 17% of IT professionals in the UK are women; FDM is committed to addressing this imbalance!”
Read the case study (PDF)

IBM – The Girls’ Outreach Programme
“Girls consistently outperform boys in IT related subjects at school yet they rarely continue with these studies or choose careers in technology. The Girls’ Outreach Programme was established to address this declining pipeline of female talent.”
Read the case study (PDF)

"Caterpillar recognises that one of its key competitive edges, and therefore the reason for its success as a business, is its employees and the talent they bring to the organisation."
Read the case study (PDF)

Individual case studies 

Charlotte Hatto – Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Consultant and Life Cycle Assessment Practitioner, North Energy Associates
“With a physics degree and research experience from UMIST, I felt that I had much to offer potential employers, but had virtually given up hope of ever finding a job to suit my lifestyle and interests.”
Read the case study (PDF)

Helen Wilson – Reader in Mathematics, University College London
“Since my first maternity leave I have been appointed Deputy Head of Department; since my second, things have really taken off for me and I have been appointed to a surprising number of national and international bodies. There are times when the demands of two small children and a full-time job feel too much; but my institution is really doing its best to make things work for me.”
Read the case study (PDF)

Leading the way

I wasn't always a scientist
Published: April 2015

Best practice case studies
Published: June 2014 - ongoing

Diversity in STEMM: Establishing a business case
Published: June 2014

Inspiring scientists: Diversity in British science
Published: May 2014

Athena SWAN Charter Awards
Published: May 2014

A picture of the UK scientific workforce
Interactive chart
Published: March 2014

Steering Group

This project is led by a Steering Group of scientific and policy experts. Professor Dame Julia Higgins DBE FREng FRS is chair of the Steering Group.

Diversity at the Royal Society

We actively promote and increase diversity through our work.

Diversity Matters blog

We link to interesting posts about diversity in science on our blog.