Diversity Monitoring

To understand the make-up of our membership we asked them to take part in our membership survey.

Click through the tabs below to see the diversity data on our committees and our wider membership.

Our membership

We asked our membership to take part in our diversity monitoring as part of the End of Year Survey. These results were used to inform SfAM's response to the All Party parliamentary Group (APPG) on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM inquiry into Equity in the STEM workforce, specifically concerning the demographics of STEM Workers in microbiology and related fields.


a bar graph showing respondents ages. 2.83% of respondents were 24 years or younger, 24.06% were 25-34, 24.06% were 35-44, 21.70% were 45-54, 14.15% were 55-64, 9.4% preferred not to say.


Almost half (48.12%) of survey respondents fell within the age categories of 25-34 and 35-44 years 24.06% respectively with 0.94% of respondents preferring not to say. The age diversity question was skipped by 5 respondents. 

According to the data analysis brief published by the APPG on the diversity and representation in the STEM, it was found that STEM workers are less likely to be aged 50 or over. However, 26.41% of survey respondents were over 55 years and only 5.29% respondents stated that they had retired.


Disability and long-term health conditions

a bar graph showing the percentage of respondents considering themselves to have a disability or long-term health condition. 12.74% said yes, 83.49% said no, and 3.77% preferred not to say.


We report that 12.74% of survey respondents considered themselves to have a disability or long-term condition (such as dyslexia, diabetes, arthritis, a heart condition, or a mental health condition) and meet the Equality Act definition of disability with 3.77% of respondents preferring not to say.

It is important to emphasise that although 83.49% of respondents do not identify as having a disability or having a long-term condition, the 12.47% of individuals who do are more likely to be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


bar graph showing the percentage of respondents by ethnicity. 9.23% Asian/Asian British, 23.26% Black/African/Caribbean/Black British, 1.95% mixed/multiple ethnic groups, 61.17% white, 4.37% any other

Survey respondents were predominantly white with 61.17% from a white background and ethnic minorities comprised 38.83% of survey respondents.

The ethnicity question was skipped by 11 respondents which was the highest number skipped of all the diversity questions.



a bar graph showing 52.58% male, and 47.42% female. 0% non-binary, prefer not to say, or prefer to self-describe

Survey respondents were fairly gender balance with a 5.16% difference between male and female responses. The gender balance of respondents was an improvement on the gender balance of the SfAM Executive Committee announced in early 2019 which followed 62% Male and 38% Female. This could signify the impact of the positive steps taken as a society to place Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the heart of the society.

Gender Identity

a bar graph showing % of respondents by gender identity. 99.05% did not identify as transgender, 0.48% did, and 0.48% prefer not to say.

Sexual Orientation

a bar chart regarding sexual orientation. 1.4% asexual, 7.6% bisexual, 3.8% gay man, 0.5% gay woman/lesbian, 0% queer, 75.7% heterosexual, 0% pansexual, 9.1% prefer not to say, 1.9% self-describe.

The majority of survey respondents identified as heterosexual (75.71%) and 9.05% of respondents preferred not to say. The sexual orientation diversity question was skipped by 7 respondents. 

Socio-economic variables

We asked our membership what type of school they attended for the majority of time between the ages of 11-16. We have included our diversity data for education both within the UK and outside the UK below.

37.74% of survey respondents attended a state-run or state-funded school in the UK with 5.66% of survey respondents attending an independent or fee-paying school in the UK.

62% non-selective state, 25% non-UK non-selective state, 11% selective state school, 8% non-UK selective state school, 6% independent/fee paying 18% non-UK independent/fee paying, 1% don’t know.

We then asked our membership, at the age of 18, had any of your parents or guardians completed a university degree course or equivalent (e.g., BA, BSc or higher) and our survey revealed more than half (57.62%) of respondents parents or guardians had not completed a university degree course or equivalent at the age of 18 years.

bar chart showing the % of respondents whose parents have university-level qualifications. 40% yes, 58% no, 1% don’t know, 1% prefer not to say.

Caring responsibilities

bar graph showing % of respondents with caring responsibilities 57.6% none, 17% primary carer, 26% joint primary carer, 9.4% other, and 1.89% prefer not to say.

The survey revealed 40.56% of respondents had some form of caring responsibilities compared to 57.55% of respondents with none and 1.89% of respondents preferred not to say. This includes carers of children under 18, disabled children, and disabled adults (over the age of 18) as well as carers of older people (age 65 and older).