The UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (UKRC) was established in 2004 to deliver a substantial part of the Government’s Strategy for Women in SET (2003). Funded from the science budget of the Department of Trade and Industry, the UKRC reports into the Office of Science and Technology. A high level Implementation Group has been selected by the Government to monitor progress of the Government’s Strategy reporting to the Chief Scientific Officer. The UKRC has also established its own National Advisory Group.
Contracted to 2008, the aim of the UKRC is to increase the participation and position of women in science, engineering and technology. Its mission to establish a dynamic centre that provides accessible, high quality information and advisory services to industry, academia, professional institutes, education and Research Councils within the SET and built environment professions, whilst supporting women entering, returning and progressing in SET careers.
The core objectives for the UKRC are:
- To review and develop a recognition scheme for ‘good’ SET employers
- To share good employment practice for women in SET
- To disseminate and share information
- To set up and maintain a database of expert women in SET
- To maintain and disseminate UK gender statistics
- To raise the profile of women in SET
- To pump prime innovation and disburse travel bursaries
- To support SET women returners
- To coordinate the work of women in SET organisations
The UKRC is a strategic, funding and delivery organisation aiming to catalyse, multiply and mainstream gender equality policy and practice for women in science, engineering and technology occupations to overcome both horizontal and vertical gender based occupational segregation.
The scope of the UKRC is on learning and work related to the Standard Occupational ( SOC ) codes that include managers, lecturers, researchers and associate technical and professional occupations in science, engineering and technology, including architecture, building and planning.
Its budget is £5.2m plus an additional £1.5m for women qualified in SET wishing to return to the labour market. In addition UKRC lead an European Social Fund Equal Round 2 funded delivery project called JIVE Joining Policy + Joining Practice.
The combined UKRC and JIVE project has approximately 23 funded partners to date, a centre in Bradford with 16 staff, London Office, Scottish and Welsh satellite centres and regional hubs in Yorkshire and Humber, the North West and the South East.
The UKRC is led by a partnership of Bradford College, Sheffield Hallam University, Open University and Cambridge University.