MORE women would prefer to work for a small or medium-sized enterprise than a large corporate, a survey of several hundred women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries has found

The study into gender balance in Scotland’s STEM industries found that 55 per cent of women would prefer to work for a smaller organisation as opposed to a larger enterprise, which had the backing of 20% surveyed.

The study was conducted by consultancy Purpose HR, which specialises in supporting early stage technology, engineering and life sciences clients, with the support of training management software specialist Administrate, corporate payment fintech company Modulr and Girl Geek Scotland.

READ MORE: Rebalancing the equation

They interviewed women across sectors and also found making an impact was a key perceived differentiating factor of SME working.

When asked about their priorities when looking for a job, career progression was the top priority (35%), followed by the reputation of the company (32%), while salary was at 25%.

The most popular source for women looking for jobs in STEM is professional networking site LinkedIn (60%) followed by introductions from friends and family (40%).

Lynne Cadenhead, of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, said the report “demonstrates the ambitions of women” in the sectors.

READ MORE: Read STEM magazine Spring 2019 here online

She said: “We need collaborative and concerted action from employers, SMEs and large organisations alike, to work towards true gender balance. This won’t happen overnight, but as this report indicates, small changes can have a big impact in driving forward gender balance in STEM.”

Lisa Thomson, of Purpose HR, said SMEs will be encouraged, but added: “At the same time, the survey shows that SMEs could be doing a lot more to make themselves desirable to female applicants.”