Celebrating Women’s History Month with a Look into the History Behind Women in STEM
Over the last decade women have slowly but surely gained recognition for their contributions to the STEM field. The demand for talent in STEM has increased tenfold over the last ten years with the number of women in the field following. Despite all this progress, only 1 in 4 STEM jobs are held by women. The disparity in these statistics highlights the omnipresent gender gap in the STEM industry and can be discouraging figures to young women looking to join the field.
According to a study done by Cornell University, 26% of high school senior males said they planned to enter into a STEM or biomedical occupation, compared to a mere 13% of senior females. The same study found that among all college entrants, only 8% of women completed a STEM major as opposed to 18% of their male counterparts. Research done by Microsoft and KRC Research shows that the evident lack of interest can be traced to an absence of role models in society, lack of support from parents and teachers, as well as a skewed perception of what STEM careers look like in the real world.
To counteract misconceptions and increase women’s involvement in STEM it is essential that as a community, we emphasize the women that have made a difference in STEM thus far, as well as encourage young girls to pursue STEM careers. Organizations such as Girls Who Code and the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) work to create that change, and now it’s our turn.
This Women’s History Month, Learning Undefeated is recognizing innovators, dreamers, and doers who have put in time and effort to advance science, technology, engineering, and math and encouraging future generations of women to dream big. We are committed to providing equitable access to education, providing role models and inspiring students to imagine their own success. Learning Undefeated offers opportunities for high school and college women to experience STEM through hands-on experiences, mentorship programs, and workshops. Check out the STEM Leadership Experience and the Emerging Leaders in Biotechnology pages to learn about these opportunities.
Below we’ve also compiled a list of resources and opportunities for students, parents, and teachers to empower female students to pursue a career in STEM.