It’s no secret, there are not enough women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math industries. The U.S. Department of Commerce showed women – compared to men – only make up of 24% of STEM jobs. Why is this? Why are there so few women?
A research report by AAUW showed that women face environmental and social barriers that prevent progress. These barriers include everything from stereotyping to gender biases. How can these biases be defeated to create a level playing field for Women in STEM? By generating more interest in the next generation of women.
Most STEM positions require a degree, which is why it is so important to start educating younger generations now. One specific group dedicated to doing just that is women from Empire Company Limited, which recently partnered with a local non-profit organization named Sacred SISTAHS to run workshops for over 150 African American girls ages 13-18. These girls are being educated and given opportunities to speak with influential women in these four industries. For some of the girls, it’s their first experience with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and it’s sparking an interest!
Another way influential leaders are helping to develop diversity is by mentoring women at an early age. They are fighting the stereotypes that girls in STEM are “nerdy”, and are providing contacts and networks for these young women’s futures.
In addition, the White House Council on Women and Girls is collaborating with The Office of Science and Technology to increase women and girls participation in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math industries.
One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math, science, and engineering. We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent…not being encouraged the way they need to.”
— President Barack Obama, February 2013
With the STEM industries projected growth from 2008-2018 to be 17%, how could women not want to focus on receiving degrees to better their current job, or find a future one? Rightfully so, STEM workers receive 33% higher wages compared to non-STEM positions.
Are you interested in applying for open STEM positions now? Check out TRC Professional Solutions job board for current available positions.