2020 Space Census: Women make up only 29% of the UK space sector
The first demographic breakdown of the UK space sector has been published by the Space Skills Alliance, in collaboration with the UK Space Agency and UKspace. You can find it at spaceskills.org/census.
The report is based on the result of the 2020 Space Census, a survey of more than 1500 people, almost 5% of the UK’s space workforce, across industry, academia, the military, government, and non-profits.
Women make up only 29% of the UK space workforce, but there are encouraging signs that the gender balance is improving, with women making up 37% of 18-24 year olds. What’s fascinating is that the gender balance is much better for Europeans working in the UK, 37% of whom are women, compared to only 27% of Brits.
Representation of women is particularly good in non-profits (45%), government (40%), and academia (35%), but very poor in industry (22%) and the military (17%).
Fewer women than men in the sector are parents (24% of women vs 30% of men), which suggests that some women are dropping out of the workforce to have or care for children. Very few in the sector are carers, but caring responsibilities are split equally between men and women.
Foreign nationals make up almost one fifth of the UK space workforce. Europeans make up about 12%, but, worryingly, they are 3 times more likely to be considering changing jobs because of immigration-related issues like Brexit.
Further stats on other characteristics, including sexuality, ethnicity, disability, and more can be found in the full report. Future reports will look more in-depth at particular characteristics. A report focused on women in space is planned for the summer, covering topics such as the gender pay gap and women’s experiences of discrimination in the sector.
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