30% of global CEOs this year say that talent scarcity and skills gaps are major hurdles to business growth – in the UK alone, the STEM skills shortage is estimated to cost employers an annual £1.5billion.
While the skills gap continues to significantly disrupt business growth in the UK and beyond, talent pipelines remain under-resourced in STEM nationally.
Two-fifths of UK STEM employers can’t recruit appropriate staff due to a scarcity of STEM graduates - without early talent initiatives that harness the potential of diverse talent, this statistic is unlikely to change.
In this article, we reflect on how the work Chris Blackburn as Head of CSR for STEM at SRG, and Holly Hall as GSK Programme Manager at SRG has accelerated diversity in scientific industries.
Read on to find out more about the impact diverse talent pipelines can have in STEM.
How SRG helps businesses build diverse talent pipelines
SRG empowers businesses working across STEM to drive diversity by addressing a key factor behind under-representation – early talent.
At SRG, building diverse talent pipelines to fuel the future of STEM has involved proactively collaborating with a number of organisations with aligned dedications and ambitions.
In this section, we will outline some of the ways we’ve connected organisations and under-represented groups to power the future of STEM.
Leading industrial placements
SRG’s Early Talent team specialise in supporting businesses to identify and attract top early talent from a range of backgrounds to progress onto successful careers in STEM.
Working with GSK, a global biopharma company, we have helped pave the way for diverse candidates to receive mentorship from experienced professionals and develop practical skills and knowledge to enhance their employability and accelerate their career.
Breaking down barriers to entering STEM professions has been a driving force behind SRG’s collaboration with GSK, and this concept has been key to driving inclusion through recruitment.
Our embedded team at GSK focus on creating a shortlist of the best possible candidates in terms of potential and drive, rather than academic accreditation or university reputation. SRG supports performance focused candidate profiles by anonymising factors including name, nationality, university, gender and disability to mitigate unconscious bias and optimise diversity across the selection process.
This equips with GSK access to a high-quality talent pipeline of motivated and committed talent from under-represented backgrounds to fuel the future of their organisation.
Each year the embedded SRG Early Talent team support GSK with their long-standing Industrial Placement programme.
This programme equips students who are looking for an impactful ‘year in industry’ or ‘sandwich year’ placement as part of their Undergraduate Degree or Integrated Masters with valuable opportunities across Chemistry, Biology (laboratory and non-Laboratory), Engineering, Manufacturing and Supply Chain, Facilities, Business(including Communications, Finance, HR, Marketing, Procurement), Medical Affairs, Data, and IT/Technology.
GSK and ViiV Healthcare (a specialist HIV company majority-owned by GSK) are passionate about providing these opportunities for students and can offer up to 300 placements a year at a range of GSK locations across the UK including London, County Durham, East Scotland, Southern England, and South East England.
The SRG Early Talent Team play an important role across the course of the Industrial Placement programme, where we help activate early and sustainable access to talent for the projects, as well as support candidate management across the course of the hiring process.
Leading graduate schemes
SRG support GSK in optimising access to under-represented groups seeking a career in STEM post-graduation.
Our Early Talent consultants help GSK’s attraction teams assess diversity in roles and instil inclusive recruitment initiatives throughout talent attraction projects in universities.
SRG have also supported GSK in their recruitment initiatives with the non-profit organisation The 10,000 Interns Foundation, who aim to remove barriers to entering the workforce for underrepresented individuals.
Our support of GSK’s recruitment project with The 10,000 Interns Foundation saw GSK exceeding their initial targets of interns, activating more opportunities for talented young people to power their careers in STEM. We achieved this by streamlining interviews and calls and setting a high standard of expectations for the project from the start. The team also engaged with the 10,000 Black Intern Programme, which supports talented black students and graduates to release their potential, and the 10,000 Able Intern Programme, which supports talented disabled and neurodiverse students and graduates. You can read more regarding the foundation here: The 10,000 Interns Foundation | Transforming the horizons of young people across the UK (10000internsfoundation.com)
Leading STEM industry reports
SRG produce annual STEM industry reports in collaboration with New Scientist, where we survey scientists and scientific candidates across the STEM industries. Our reports specifically delve into discrimination and harassment for under-represented groups in STEM, as well as data on the pay-gap to support more informed decisions for STEM leaders.
Our work helps bring a sense of transparency to both candidates and clients alike in revealing the key trends underlying inequity in STEM, alongside the factors driving better results through our valuable qualitative and quantitative data. Download this year's salary report here.
Unlock the potential of early talent in STEM with SRG
At SRG, we work collaboratively with our partners to connect and invest in talent on a deeper level and to mentor and advise where they can go and grow in their specialism and beyond.
Get in touch to find out how we can help you harness the power of a diverse talent pipeline in STEM by clicking the button below.