Companies are looking for STEM profiles with management skills
To coincide with the launch of EADA’s Accelerating STEM Talent programme in May, which has been designed to strengthen and develop the competencies of professionals with scientific and technical profiles, a debate session was organised to discuss “Companies and STEM”. During the debate, various experts analysed the main challenges facing their areas of knowledge in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics sector (STEM).
Capturing STEM talent
It appears that the greatest challenge arises from the shortage of professionals with scientific and technical profiles. There is a future need for STEM talent but despite growing demand, companies are finding it hard to capture this type of talent. During the debate, it was highlighted that the demand for STEM experts will increase at the rate of 150,000 jobs a year in Spain until at least 2030, which will consequently generate an even bigger gap between supply and demand in this sector.
The answer therefore lies in how to attract STEM profiles. According to Pere Vallés, CEO of Exoticca and president of Scytl, companies need to “engage professionals through exciting projects”. VP of Schneider, Alberto Martínez agrees and insists that companies have to “explain the benefits of the project to the people working on it and make them see how their work will help to change and improve society. It’s about creating an emotional link with the company.”
For Marina Rigau, Strategy Director for the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, the way to attract STEM talent is to “offer professionals more mobility and globality as it is difficult for scientists to move around the company environment”.
It is also important to highlight the lack of female STEM talent. According to UNESCO, only 35% of people who choose to pursue a STEM university degree are women. Furthermore, only 28% of researchers worldwide are women. To reverse this trend, the speakers in the debate recommended that children from the age of 10 should be introduced to ICT related subjects and learn about examples of women from the STEM sector in an effort to make it more attractive to girls from an early age.
STEM profiles with soft skills
STEM professionals also face the challenge of improving their management skills. According to Baptista Borrell, director of Seidor Learning Services, “companies require STEM professionals to be technological and scientific experts but they also need them to speak foreign languages, be creative, work as part of a team and show leadership skills so that they are able to resolve the challenges of working in a highly collaborative environment using ICT”.
It is for this reason that EADA’s Accelerating STEM Talent programme will offer participants the corporate and business vision required of STEM professionals by encouraging multidisciplinary teamwork and providing real business challenges for them to face with the client’s perspective always in mind. According to Borrell, “STEM talent faces global exposure as the large corporations and startups looking for this type of profile move in global, collaborative and multicultural environments”.