Keysight: boosting diversity is vital for European competitiveness

August 17, 2020 //By Shidah Ahmad
Keysight: boosting diversity is vital for European competitiveness
Making European electronics industries more inclusive is a competitive business strategy says Shidah Ahmad, vice president and general manager at Keysight Technologies.

The STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) disciplines are overwhelmingly dominated by men. Worldwide, despite representing half the population, only about a quarter of STEM workers today are female. Yet as technology continues to advance, the needs of the labour market keep changing with an increasing number of jobs in European electronics requiring STEM skills and knowledge. 

It is true that more women than ever are graduating from colleges and universities with STEM degrees today, but more men are also choosing STEM subjects in college. In fact, the number of men in those degree programs is rising faster than the number of women, so the gender gap in STEM not only remains, it is actually growing. And it is compounded by a disproportionately lower number of women in STEM leadership positions and a persistent wage gap separating men from women, with females in STEM jobs making 89 percent of what their male counterparts are paid.

But that gap doesn’t reflect a difference in aptitude. Test results from 67 different countries and regions have shown that girls do as well or better than boys in science subjects. That means women are more than capable of occupying demanding positions in STEM fields.

Gender equality in STEM fields is catching on worldwide, but it’s uneven. In the EU, for example, 41 percent of scientists and engineers are women. But women actually outnumber men in those professions in Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Portugal and Denmark, as well as in Norway. At the same time, though, fewer than a third of the researchers are women in Hungary, Luxembourg, Finland and, perhaps most surprisingly, Germany, which is actually led by an accomplished female scientist, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry.

At Keysight we have female engineers in many disciplines including firmware, hardware, materials and process engineering, and they cross many functions including manufacturing, R&D, quality assurance, procurement and marketing. 

Starting STEM interest early

Keysight has always


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