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STEM Options Program: Women in STEM Fields

Information for the STEM Options 2017 Program

Women in STEM

What is STEM? 

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

"In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM." (U.S. Department of Education, 2016). 

Women in STEM

Lately, there has been a lot of focus on women in STEM fields.  In a 2009 survey by the Census Bureau, while women make up 48% of the U.S. workforce, only 24% of workers in STEM fields are female (Census Bureau American Community Survey, 2009). 

Studies have shown that many environmental and social barriers — including stereotypes, gender bias, and the climate of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities — continue to block women’s progress in STEM.  The study and pursuit of knowledge within the STEM disciplines for women has been traditionally challenging. For example, female scientists may have to navigate pay inequality, sexual harassment, career-life balance choices, and gender biases. STEM Options Day encourages participants that STEM fields are a career option. 

 

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Career Profiles - Women in STEM