Logicdrop Spotlight: Women in STEM
Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics
STEM Careers are on the Rise
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers are on the rise. According to changetheequation.org, between 2014 and 2024 there will be a 17 percent increase in growth while non-STEM employment will only grow 12 percent. With the many advancements in the technology industry as of late, interest in STEM related careers and college degrees have grown more popular than ever. Although the numbers in these industries have been growing, the percentage of women in STEM careers have remained the same for the last 16 years.
Women in STEM
When was the last time a computer scientist was a woman in Saturday cartoons?
Women comprise 48 percent of the entire U.S. workforce but only represent 24 percent in STEM fields. The struggle to attract more women to STEM careers has been an uphill battle. For women looking from the outside in it can seem daunting to step into a STEM-related field; feeling outnumbered and unwelcomed. Men, however, are more likely to get a STEM job regardless of their degree attainment or level. On a brighter note, women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than women in non-STEM jobs. This provides a positive outlook for women attempting to attain a STEM related degree, but is it enough?
Some say the low number of women in these careers can be contributed to the lack of female role models. When was the last time a computer scientist was a woman in Saturday cartoons? Perhaps to blame is the stereotypical image of a computer programmer; a forever-alone, overweight, “geeky” guy that trolls users in comment sections and threads. Another factor could be the social construct that science and math are more masculine while art and humanities are perceived as more feminine, even though females are slightly more likely to enroll in advanced science courses according to NGC Project (22% vs 18%). These are just a few of many factors contributing to the gender gap. The picture we painted may seem a bit dark, but don’t worry! There are plenty of organizations that have made it their goal to solve these problems!
STEM Organizations for Women
Now let’s shine the spotlight on some amazing organizations working hard to bridge the gender gap:
Million Women Mentors
An organization that aims to repair the lack of female STEM role models by pairing one million women (and men) in science to mentor girls through high school, college, and through their career life in order to prevent women from dropping out of STEM fields. Eventually kicking out the “overweight” geeky tech guy stereotype.
Women in Engineering Proactive Network
Their mission is to dislodge those male-oriented social constructs surrounding STEM fields in order to help keep women in STEM. They work with female engineering students at over 150 campuses which reaches approximately 60 percent of the female engineering student population of the U.S.
National Girls Collaborative Project
A great organization that is tackling the lack of exposure of STEM fields. They travel around the country encouraging young girls to enter STEM fields and try to guarantee access to resources that enhance STEM education and interest. Their goal is attained by increasing the quantity and quality of resources and by providing a space for young girls to network with STEM educators.
All in all, the first step to help with the stagnant growth of women in STEM fields is to first encourage more women to STAY in STEM fields. Through staying in a STEM field, they are able to share their stories to the impressionable minds of eager girls trying to get their foot in the door or to even just help keep the door open for them.