The science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce is crucial to America’s innovative capacity and global competitiveness. STEM jobs are projected to grow by 17% through 2018, compared to 9.8% growth for non-STEM occupations. Women and minorities are vastly underrepresented among STEM professionals and will continue to be unless the problem is addressed. There has been much discussion about the factors that contribute to this: lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less family-friendly flexibility in STEM jobs.
A few statistics:
- Women make up nearly half of the workforce, but hold less than 25% of STEM jobs.
- Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs – considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.
- Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.
- Women with a STEM degree are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation; they are more likely to work in education or healthcare.
In 2006, the U.S. science and engineering workforce was comprised of:
74 % men
Source: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics. 2011. Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2011. Special Report NSF 11-309. Arlington, VA
- To expose girls to careers in STEM that may have been otherwise unknown to them
- To expose girls to female role models in STEM
- To show girls the relevancy of science and math in the ‘real world’
Sources: National Assessment of Educational Progress, U.S. Dept. of Commerce,