STEM Education and the Gender Gap

There are fewer women than men in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) occupations.  According to a report by the U.S Department of Commence, only one in seven engineers are women.  The report also found that “while women fill almost half of the jobs in the U.S economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs.”  The report speculates on some possible factors:

“The under-representation of women in STEM majors and jobs may be attributable to a variety of factors. These may include different choices men and women typically make in response to incentives in STEM education and STEM employment – for example, STEM career paths may be less accommodating to people cycling in and out of the work-force to raise a family – or it may be because there are relatively few female STEM role models. Perhaps strong gender stereotypes discourage women from pursuing STEM education and STEM jobs.”

One thing that appears clear is that to bring more women into these jobs, we need to support and encourage them, and it seems clear that providing this support, encouragement and education at a young age could make a difference.

Events like this Saturday’s “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” at UT provide some of that support and encouragement,  and help young girls to be aware of choices that they may not know they have.  

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1 Comment

  1. Great article! I thought I read somewhere that there are many scholarships to help encourage women to apply for STEM majors. You would think that would help bring more women into this field.

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