Tag: STEM

Women in STEM

A significant push to increase the number of girls enrolled in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs have been made in recent years. While this is an important goal, simply getting more girls into these programs is not enough. We need to make sure that they are successful in these programs if we want to see real change.

Accenture and Girls Who Code conducted research in the United States and established that even if there are more women in IT areas now than there were decades ago, the proportion of women to men in tech roles has decreased approximately over the last three decades. Women continue to constitute a small minority of the teams that design and build the technologies that are critical to development. Approximately only 28% of women work in the STEM field, which means that many talented and capable women do not get the opportunities to pursue careers in these industries.

So how do we move the needle on females in STEM programs? Read this blog discover the key strategies that could make a real difference and move the needle on female success in STEM programs.

 

  1. Mind Your Language

This simply means being mindful of what we put out in the world as corporates. For example, the language used in job descriptions may unintentionally turn women off before they even begin. When hiring, use tools such as Textio, which ensure that your job descriptions are gender-neutral. You can run it through your job descriptions to look for words that speak to specific genders and ways to avoid unintentional bias.

 

  1. Support more women-led digital businesses.

Digital companies with venture capital funds that support startups can also be a significant catalyst for increasing the number of women in tech. These are women who are working in digital companies and creating and leading them. In 2019, women-led startups received an astoundingly meager 2.8% of VC funding. In 2020, the overall VC funding to women fell to 2.3%. This massive gender gap in VC funding makes it more difficult for women to secure the capital they need to grow their tech businesses.

In addition to VC investments, companies can provide mentorship, resources, and networking to women-led tech startups through accelerators, incubators, or innovation labs.

Cropped shot of businesspeople shaking hands in an office

 

  1. Avail gender diversity data to the public.

It is impossible to establish the exact composition of women in these firms unless companies disclose data on the number of women on their teams. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of the United States requires businesses to report occupational data by gender (and other criteria like ethnicity). Even in mandatory cases, some companies do not make this report public.

We can only compare data from different companies against the desired change when company disclosures make the information public. The 30% Club targets 30% female representation at the highest governance body level. It bases this on the premise that underrepresented voices are only heard, and their representation is normalized at 30%. Recent research by the Digital Inclusion Benchmark showed that although most of the 150 tech companies reported the composition of women on their Board of Directors, just 54 of these firms had the minimum 30% female representation on their board. Most of those companies were based in Europe or the United States.

 

4. Experiment with simple validation forms.

You don’t need to launch a full-fledged company-wide initiative to encourage women to pursue careers in technology. Try something as simple as saying “Good idea” when a female coworker suggests something you like. It is a simple way of showing support and making someone feel more confident. Shake things up in meetings by sitting somewhere new or having the attendees room switch places. These are small gestures that can have a big impact on how people interact and feel heard.

 

5. Create a standard definition for ‘technical roles.’

The number of women working at a digital company should not be a definition of ‘women in tech.’ While female representation at all levels is critical, it is also critical to understand what a technical role at a company entails. Are women working in call centers and human resources, or are they part of teams designing, building, and programming digital devices and services?

As per the World Economic Forum, women comprise only 14% of the workforce in Cloud Computing, 20% in Engineering, and 32% in Data and AI. While these are useful data points, they appear incomplete because they are based on LinkedIn data from only 20 economies. The Digital Inclusion Benchmark tracks how companies define technical roles in the benchmark, and it is clear that companies are struggling to define this category.

Some businesses refer to technical roles as “STEM-related” or “technical,” while others, such as Telstra, use the Australian Workforce Gender Equality Agency’s definition, which includes “Information Media and Telecommunications” as a category. With so many definitions of a technical role, it’s difficult to know who a company’s annual report refers to when it mentions “women in technical roles.” So, reaching an agreement on defining technical roles is the first step toward determining how many women truly work in technical roles in digital companies.

 

6. Engage with and impact the Community.

Recruiting a new generation of women is another critical component of moving the needle on women in technology. CODeLLA in Miami helps girls see a future in technology by bringing in interesting speakers and connecting them with hands-on projects. Its objective is to inspire the coming generation of Latina innovators to solve problems and create digital content.

Shot of a group of creative professionals using a digital tablet during a meeting in a modern office

 

7. Do not exclude anyone.

When planning events for the company, keep inclusivity in mind. Be aware that team activities outside work hours may exclude parents, particularly working mothers.


Final Take away

The time has come to move the needle in female representation in the tech industry. Companies need to establish common definitions for ‘technical roles,’ disclose gender diversity data, and increase their support for female-led tech startups and businesses.

 

What Is the Gender Gap In STEM

Two business colleagues greeting with elbow in office. Business people bump elbows in office for greeting during covid-19 pandemic.

 

In today’s society, there is a gender gap in many different industries and fields. One of the most notable gaps is the one that exists in the STEM field-science, technology, engineering and math. Only 28% of women work in these fields, confirming that many talented and capable women are not getting the opportunity to pursue careers in these important industries. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of the gender gap in STEM and discuss ways to close it.


What is the Gender Gap?

The gender gap in STEM is the imbalance of male to female students in STEM programs compared to other college degree programs. According to research, women are significantly less likely than men to earn STEM degrees or work in the field. STEM occupations are even less likely to be chosen by women of color. This causes a growing gender gap of fewer women-to-men ratio in STEM study programs and careers.

Status of Gender Gap in STEM

  1. According to the data from the American Physical Society, in 2017, women received 21% of bachelor’s degrees in physics. Similarly, data from the American Chemical Society shows that only 33 percent of chemistry degrees were earned by women in 2017. This is compared to other college degree programs, where more than half of the students are female.
  2. A study by the National Science Board shows that only about 19% of computer and information science students are female, compared to 21% of engineering majors.
  3. Though nearly 80%of the health care workforce are women, they make up about 21% of health executives and board members and only about a third of women are doctors.
  4. Only 24% of women who majored in engineering work in the engineering field, compared to 38% of women who majored in computers.
  5. In 2019, only 13% of working engineers were women, a small improvement from 8.6% in 1993.
  6. The percentage of women in tech was higher in the 1980s than today. Only 23% of Apple’s tech jobs and 32% of the company’s workforce are held by women. Similar figures apply to Google, where women hold 31% of the workforce and 21% of the tech occupations. Microsoft is comparable, with 27% of the workforce and 20% of tech jobs held by women.
  7. Additionally, women leave the tech industry at a 45% higher rate than men.
  8. Interestingly, most tech startups have no women on their leadership teams.
  9. Women typically make less money than males in STEM fields. The median income for women working in STEM fields is $66,200, which is roughly 74% of the $90,000 median income for men in the same fields. From 72% in 2016, the gender wage gap in STEM jobs has decreased.

 

Why Is There A STEM Gender Gap in College Programs and Careers?
Several factors contribute to the lack of women in STEM fields.;

  1. There is an ingrained societal stereotype that boys and men are simply “better” at math and science and that STEM is a male-dominated field. This limited belief discourages many girls and young women from considering a STEM career.
  2. In addition, domestic pressures such as early marriage and child pregnancy can prevent girls from completing their education and limit their career options.
  3. There is a lack of female role models in STEM fields, making it difficult for women to envision themselves in these careers.

While the women’s STEM challenges are significant, it’s important to remember that anyone can succeed in these fields with dedication and hard work. With more women choosing to pursue careers in STEM, we can eventually close the gender gap.

Leaving no chance for a virus to strike

How To Solve the Gender Gap In STEM

  1. There should be more targeted and early interventions to demystify STEM and ignite interest in girls. Scholarships for girls and women pursuing STEM programs should be introduced, and opportunities such as online education and nano courses should be made more accessible to young women.
  2. Training for teachers on gender-sensitive instruction and how to engage girls in STEM must also be increased to make a real difference. Only by working on multiple levels will the gender gap in STEM begin to close.
  3. In the home, parents should remind their children that they can grow up to do anything they want. They should also provide a wide range of opportunities for children to explore their interests, including STEM-related ones.
  4. Colleges should support the inclusion of women in STEM fields by doing everything possible to prevent discrimination and sexism against female students and improve retention rates.
  5. In the workplace, employers must work to identify and address discrimination in their hiring practices to produce a diverse workplace that promotes greater employee happiness and productivity. Additionally, it’s important to train managers on inclusiveness and gender sensitivity.
  6. Another way to create a more conducive environment for women is to start is by encouraging open conversation about the issue. This will create a better understand what needs to change in the workplace.
  7. Additionally, companies can plan outings and social events that appeal to a wider range of interests. By taking these steps, we can create a more inclusive environment while lessening the gender gap in STEM.

 

Final Takeaway

Though many initiatives are in place to help close the gender gap in STEM, more work must be done on all fronts. We must all work diligently to attract and keep female students by making computer science courses more interesting and relevant. Employers must identify and address discrimination in their hiring practices, creating a diverse workplace that promotes greater happiness and productivity among employees. Society as a whole must recognize the importance of women pursuing careers in STEM fields.

If you want to hire the best engineering talent available, then contact Bridgecor today. We’re Orlando’s premier engineering staffing agency and provide numerous services, including human resources consulting and professional resume writing. For more information on our services or advice on finding top STEM talent, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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