As part of the BIS (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills) STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) diversity programme, Leading the way: Increasing diversity in the scientific workforce, we commissioned research into the business case for diversity in the scientific workforce.
The research, conducted by Westminster Business School in late 2013, included a literature review, focus groups with individuals in STEMM occupations and interviews with organisational representatives of employers with substantial STEMM workforces.
The research explored what diversity means to people in the sector, examined the fundamentals of the business case, looked at diversity policies and initiatives used by organisations, and considered the issues and difficulties of measuring diversity and performance.
As expected the business case is complicated, subtle and highly contextual. However, the research presents some interesting insights into the potential business cases for diversity in the scientific workforce along with some useful recommendations on how to increase and promote diversity in STEMM.
Read further details about the research including the key findings and recommendations in the executive summary (PDF) or main research report (PDF).
Pilot with UK higher education chemistry departments
As part of the policy study, we are carrying out a small pilot study with UK higher education chemistry departments to establish in the first instance whether there is a statistically meaningful correlation between some measures of diversity and some measures of the quality or quantity of outputs produced by groups of scientists.
We asked participating departments to send through data on the diversity of their academic and research staff, relevant REF (Research Excellence Framework) data and measures of productivity (e.g. H index, citations, grant income).
We will be analysing this data over the next few months and sharing the findings in Autumn 2015.