The first UK space census launches today to survey the diversity of the UK space sector and help inform future space policy.
The census launch comes during UN-backed World Space Week 2020, which celebrates the contribution made by satellites to everyday lives. The 2020 Space Census will collect anonymous information from space sector professionals to build a comprehensive picture of the UK space job market; covering demographic characteristics from age and gender to race and sexuality.
Once the census is complete, the Space Growth Partnership, a network that informs national space policy and sector strategy, will use this information to develop actions to improve equality, diversity, and inclusion in the UK space sector.
Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, said: “I am delighted to mark the launch of the UK space census, the first detailed study into the make-up of our brilliant space industry. This new census will be critical in driving forward diversity right across the sector, bringing new ideas to help tackle some of our greatest challenges that will cement the UK as a space superpower for decades to come.”
The UK space sector is aiming to create 30,000 new jobs in the coming decade and this ambition relies on it having a highly-skilled and diverse workforce, with jobs from satellite builders and rocket scientists to accountants and business development managers.
Diversity in businesses is a proven driver of economic growth, and research shows that more diverse and inclusive workplaces are more productive and more likely to achieve longer-term growth.
Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, added: “We need to drive change for the future of our sector in a way that is not just us ticking a box and this census will play a vital role in helping us understand the demographics of space in the UK and, most importantly, what the challenges are.”