STEMM The Tide

What is the problem with STEMM leadership? How data informs strategy when it comes to leadership development in STEMM roles and industries.

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This is a critical time for STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine).

Increasingly, science and technology are occupying a much more significant role within companies and for consumers. Consequently, leading change, people, and businesses within this sector has never been more important. 

Our research is prompted by our STEMM sector clients who are experiencing challenges with gender diversity, female talent retention and leadership agility.

In our quest to better understand the problem we have worked closely with our strategic partner, Zenger Folkman, who have the world’s largest database of thriving leadership cultures globally, comprising over 1.5 million 360-degree assessments.

From this extensive database, we have compared 16,419 STEMM leaders with 57,706 non-STEMM leaders, revealing insights based on hard data, facts, and statistical analysis.

Additionally, we have analysed available data on workplace culture and the lack of women in leadership positions within STEMM to diagnose,the issue more deeply.

This is a massive and exciting opportunity for the STEMM sector to transform their culture and truly lead at a time when needed most.

Key Insights


There is a major difference between the critical leadership competencies demonstrated by STEMM and non-STEMM leaders. Women leaders possess better and broader leadership competencies than men.


Certain critical leadership competencies are hard to find in both female and male STEMM leaders.


In non-STEMM sectors, women and men ‘complement’ one another in terms of leadership strengths and weaknesses, but within STEMM sectors they do not.


Different leadership competencies are valued in STEMM compared to non-STEMM sectors.


There are additional gender biased factors affecting female leaders in STEMM.

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