SIR Peter Luff has raised the issue of increasing the number of female role models in science and engineering, as part of Prime Minister’s questions at the House of Commons.

The Droitwich MP was praised by David Cameron for his campaigning activity to boost recruitment into science and engineering.

Sir Peter asked: “On the day when BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ has put the distinguished geneticist Professor Nazneen Rahman at number three in its power list, I am pleased to remind the Prime Minister of his challenge to me to suggest practical policies that could address the damaging and long-standing under-representation of women in science and engineering careers. So what is his response to the thoughtful report, published last week, which I commissioned to meet his challenge, called ‘Through Both Eyes’, by the campaign group ScienceGrrl?”

The Prime Minister replied: “May I pay tribute to my honourable friend for campaigning and working so hard on this issue? It is really important for the future of our country - not just for gender equality but for our economic future - to get more women into STEM subjects and into engineering. I support the National Centre for Universities and Businesses’ target of doubling the number of female engineering graduates by 2030. We are working with employers, professional bodies and academic institutions to implement the Perkins review of engineering skills, and I think one of the most powerful things is role models like the one that my hon. Friend mentioned in his question.”

Commenting after Prime Minister’s Questions, Sir Peter said: “Worcestershire is a centre of advanced manufacturing. If local companies are to flourish, it is crucial we do more to bring boys and girls into science and engineering.”