Leading the way: Increasing diversity in the scientific workforce

Leading the way: Increasing diversity in the scientific workforceA picture of the UK scientific workforce: Interactive chart

The interactive chart below shows career stages in academia by discipline and by gender, disability and ethnicity using Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data from 2011/12. 

Career stages are often characterised as a pipeline and it is common to use the terminology of a 'leaky pipeline' to describe situations in which trained individuals leave a particular career stage. What is clear from the study of the scientific workforce as a whole is that a leak from one sector can be an inflow to another.  

Data from HESA allow the career stages to be examined separately for each subject by comparing the proportions of individuals with particular diversity characteristics at each stage of an academic career. It is not possible to study the actual pipeline because these data compare the current professorial cohort with the current undergraduate cohort, not with the undergraduate cohorts from which current professors were drawn. The data do, however, allow comparisons among different disciplines of the proportions of women, disabled people and different minority ethnic groups at each stage of an academic career from first degree to holding a professorial chair. 

This data was released as part of ‘A picture of the UK scientific workforce’, the Society’s data gathering exercise which set out to analyse and understand the composition of the scientific workforce in terms of gender, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background and status. 

You can download the summary report and all supplementary research and data reports as PDF, DOC and XLS files.

Share this page

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



Select diversity strands and research subjects from the box and click 'display selected career profiles' to show them on the graph. Use the 'Ctrl' key ('Cmd' on a Mac) to select more than one pipeline.

To see the legend, hover over a line on the chart.