Women into STEM pledge

In May 2014, the government set out national ambitions for greater participation in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) especially amongst women.

FDF and our members supported the new campaign called 'Your Life' by creating our own pledge to attract women into STEM careers in our industry.

What is Your Life?

Your Life is a national campaign by government departments, private companies, civil society and educational to build greater participation in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) especially amongst women. The campaign was launched at an event at the Science Museum on 7 May 2014.

What is FDF's Women into STEM pledge?

FDF's pledge consists of 6 headline priorities, which build on the work that we and our members are already doing to increase the number of women coming into STEM careers in our industry:

  1. FDF commits to raising awareness of STEM career opportunities and promote women working in science and engineering in our industry.
  2. FDF and our members commit to double the number of food and drink manufacturing factory visits for girls over the next 12 months, with the aim of reaching over 100 female students by May 2016.
  3. FDF commits to launching a new mentoring scheme for MEng Food Engineering applicants and students, with the aim of ensuring at least 40% of all mentors are female by May 2016.
  4. FDF members pledge to increase the number of women signing up as STEM Ambassadors.
  5. FDF will pledge to increase the use of positive female role models in our Taste Success careers campaign and continue to develop materials targeted to a female audience.
  6. FDF and its members will work with University Technical Colleges (UTCs) and other relevant organisations, to promote the new Apprenticeships for Food and Drink Mechanical and Multi-skilled Maintenance Engineers to young women.

View full details of FDF's pledge

Why is FDF taking part?

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) represents the UK's largest manufacturing sector, food and drink manufacturing. Our industry currently employs around 400,000 people and has a turnover of £81.8bn. For our industry to grow sustainably and remain competitive in the global market place, we must attract the best talent and build a highly skilled workforce.

An ageing workforce means that by 2022 food and drink businesses will need to recruit 109,000 individuals. With food and drink businesses reporting skills gaps, particularly in science and engineering roles, and women being under-represented in Food and Drink Manufacturing (36% of the workforcethere is a clear need to bring more women into food and drink.

Getting involved: what does being a signatory to FDF's pledge mean?

It is not too late to join Your Life by submitting your own company pledge or becoming a signatory to FDF's pledge. Your Life is a chance for all parts of the food and drink industry sector to show their commitment to boosting skills in mathematics, physics, technology and engineering and to promoting these careers and subject choices to girls and women. It is also an opportunity to work in partnership with other organisations committed to these principles, to exchange ideas and learn from examples of best practice.

This pledge is supported by FDF's member companies, including: Agrico UK Ltd, Britvic Plc, Cargill Plc, Coca-Cola Enterprises, KP Snacks, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé UK, PepsiCo, Premier Foods and United Biscuits. Along with the Scottish Food and Drink Federation.

More information

For more information or to get involved please contact selga.speakman-havard@fdf.org.uk

Last reviewed: 03 Nov 2015