“ Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce. Female scientists and engineers are concentrated in different occupations than are men, with relatively high shares of women in the social sciences (62%) and biological, agricultural, and environmental life sciences (48%) and relatively low shares in engineering (15%) and computer and mathematical sciences (25%).” 1 This well-documented phenomenon is garnering new attention in the media as several high profile technology companies have dealt with serious negative internal company culture issues, often from the top down. The end result is young women and girls walking away from STEM opportunities discouraged and disillusioned.
The good news is that the prevailing story doesn’t have to be the only one highlighted. While we all know bad news sells, positive accounts of women in STEM and their supportive, professional male coworkers will help recruit and retain quality young women in STEM. Over 50 female tech company founders and executives highlighted this very topic in an open letter published on the tech blog Re/Code in 2015. By spotlighting successful women and positive stories, they argued, the public narrative can encourage more women to climb the ladder of tech, or even just join the industry to begin with. And it’s important to note that many of these same women have found mentors and colleagues who treat them with respect, equality, and support.
At STEM-Away, we need your story. We are asking female STEM professionals to tell us about your encouraging moments, to tell us what the future of STEM can be when women and men work together in mutually affirmative environments. Even a few sentences from you is adequate. Let the girls and young women know that there is a lot to look forward to.
Truly, the future is now for so many women and girls considering a career in STEM. Reply to this post. Submit your stories here to be a part of their journey today.