SCOTTISH Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is to call for further progress to address the gender imbalance in science, technology and engineering.
Ms Dugdale is due to speak at an event hosted by the Royal Society of Chemistry in Edinburgh.
In science and in academia in general, men continue to dominate.Kezia Dugdale
She will highlight the lack of women studying so-called Stem subjects and going on to pursue a career in the sector.
Research shows just under a third of female Stem graduates are using their qualifications to work in science, technology and engineering jobs compared with more than half of male graduates.
Meanwhile, figures from the Scottish Parliament’s information centre show just under a quarter of professors at Scotland’s universities are female, and around a third of university principals in Scotland are female.
Ms Dugdale is expected to say: “It’s welcome that here today there are prominent women representing the world of science.
“But sadly it’s the exception to the rule. Because in science and in academia in general, men continue to dominate.”
She will add: “The institutional road-blocks to women taking up these roles must be demolished. Progress has been made, but it isn’t enough.
“And if we look at the students of today we can see the problems continuing.
“We know that we need 147,000 engineers in Scotland by 2022. Yet just a tiny fraction of those studying engineering, science and technology, preparing for the jobs of the future, are women.
“Unless we can bring a lot more women into these subjects we risk locking half of the population out of the high-skilled, high-paying jobs of the future.
“To meet the challenges of the 21st century we need to invest for the long term. We need to give as many young people as possible the skills they need to make their way in the world.”