A female scientist looks through the lens of a microscope, while a computer screen displays data

SRG’s Report Reveals STEM Salaries are on the Rise While Pay Inequities Worsen

In the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM):

  • Average UK salaries have risen by 13.1% to £51,942
  • Average European salaries have risen by 18.7% to €62,877
  • Average North American salaries rose by 5.5% to $84,571
  • UK Black employees earn on average £7,951 below their White co-workers
  • UK Asian employees earn on average £16,297 below their White co-workers
  • UK female employees earn 13% below the salary average
  • North American female employees earn 13% below the salary average
  •  European female employees earn 11% below the salary average

Why diversity in STEM is business critical

44% of Fortune 500 companies have found that diverse teams increase innovation and agility, and 51% say diversity also improves employee engagement – all key criteria for a successful STEM workforce.

What’s more, diverse and inclusive organisations attract and retain talent. 

In research from Deloitte, 80% of candidates say inclusion is an important factor when choosing an employer, and 72% would potentially leave a less inclusive organisation for a more inclusive one. Actively communicating with your prospective candidates about tangible inclusivity efforts can motivate talent to prioritise your organisation.

Given the statistics, organisations are more than often inclined to create a diversity and inclusion strategy, especially in STEM where representation is notoriously low. Funding for diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace is set to rise over the next 3 years, reaching £15.4billion in 2026 – however meaningful progress remains slow. 

STEM salaries and the gender and ethnicity pay gaps

A recent survey from STEM recruitment experts SRG and New Scientist reveals increasing salaries and worsening pay inequities across the global STEM industries.

While our survey shows that average salaries across the scientific sectors have risen in the UK (13.1% increase), Europe (18.7% increase), and North America (5.5% increase), the gender and ethnicity pay gaps remain significant hurdles to meaningful pay equity in STEM.

In 2022, our STEM Salary Survey revealed a 28% difference in the gender pay gap in the UK, a 17% gender pay gap in Europe, and a 17.5% gender pay gap in North America.

While this year’s survey shows an improvement in gender pay disparities, there remains significant progress to be made. In the UK, the gender pay gap is 13%, in Europe 11%, and in North America 13%.

While prospects for women in the scientific industries are improving, ethnic disparities in pay have heightened. 

In 2022, our STEM Salary Survey revealed that STEM professionals from Mixed/Multiple ethnic backgrounds earned £5,472 below their White co-workers, followed by Asian professionals (£7,412 below White co-workers), and Black professionals (£14,636 below White co-workers).

This year, our research shows that STEM professionals from Mixed/Multiple ethnic backgrounds earned just £891 below their White co-workers, while Black professionals earned £7,951 below their white co-workers and Asian professionals earned £16,297 below their White co-workers.

How to move forward as a STEM business

While our results show ongoing disparities in pay, some STEM organisations are paving the way forward.

SRG’s Early Talent team help businesses identify and attract top early talent from a range of diverse backgrounds to progress onto successful careers in STEM.

Working with GSK, we have helped pave the way for diverse candidates to receive mentorship from experienced professionals and develop practical skills and knowledge to build on their employability and accelerate their careers. 

A key hallmark of GSK’s approach is its meaningful definition of success and understanding of the root causes behind under-representation; being limited pathways for diverse talent to enter STEM industries. This approach reflects McKinsey’s recently published DE&I success factors.

McKinsey’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses report reveals 5 success factors behind the diversity and inclusion initiatives that yielded the most significant, scalable, quantifiable and sustained impact for under-represented groups.

These are:

1. A nuanced understanding of the root causes
2. A meaningful definition of success
3. Accountable and invested business leaders
4. Solutions that address the root causes with scalability in mind
5. Rigorous tacking and course correction

Find out more about working with SRG

In today’s climate of talent scarcity, investing in inclusive pathways for progression in STEM is vital to fuel the future of our workforces and unravel pay disparities that continue to disadvantage professionals from diverse backgrounds today.

 At SRG, we pride ourselves on our ability to work with our partners and deliver inclusive hiring solutions while ensuring that we’re reaching STEM professionals from diverse backgrounds in an accessible way and empowering them throughout their career journey. You can find out more about how SRG and our wider Impellam brands in STEM support meaningful DE&I initiatives for our clients in our Impact Report.

Click here to get in touch to find out how we can help you harness the power of a diverse talent pipeline in STEM

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