Despite science offering high-skilled, highly rewarding jobs, recruitment crises are reported in roles ranging from maths teachers to clinical staff, and there are skill shortages across whole industries in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the so-called STEM sectors).
The gender gap seems to be closing, with 25 per cent of boys and 24 per cent of girls expecting to work in a profession which requires further scientific training after leaving school. However, stereotypes persist: girls are more likely to see themselves as future health professionals while boys think first of ICT, science or engineering.
However, both are probably under-estimating. In the future, well over a quarter of jobs – particularly those leading to successful careers – are likely to require a broad background in science.
The Science Council is the national lead body for science, and its members are associations and institutes representing the full range of scientific disciplines and professions.
It seeks to reach young people just starting in their career, or even earlier when they are choosing courses of study.
The Science Council aims to create a movement for change – to reposition science as an aspirational and ambitious career choice.
We immersed ourselves in understanding real-life perceptions and the myths about science and scientists. We defined, tested and fine-tuned to develop the messages most likely to resonate.
Then we produced clear, attractive and hard-hitting creative treatments to get the message across positively.
To get the best value-for-money, we developed an online and social media campaign, with a variety of shares to leverage the impact of the Science Council’s broad-based membership and the wider science community.
Our positive campaign theme Be the one was applied to a wide range of social media, advertising and direct marketing campaign delivered more than 300,000 opportunities to see by highly-targeted prospects, and we also developed a more structured approach to managing the pipeline of enquiries.
The campaign delivered a step-change in response. Within three months, the Science Council saw more than 125 per cent increase in the proportion of membership applications directly from marketing campaigns, and an increase of 10 per cent in the number of applications overall.