There’s no denying the importance of those working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) occupations. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to imagine what our world would look like without the advances that have been made in these fields. They’ve brought us vaccines that have cured diseases, deepened our understanding of the universe and given us tools that make us more connected than ever before.
Job growth in STEM fields continues to outpace that of all other occupations, too. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in these industries are projected to grow by nearly 9% between 2018 and 2028, compared to an even 5% for all non-STEM occupations.
Unfortunately, due to gender biases, fewer role models and male-dominated industries, women have been historically underrepresented in STEM. Despite common sense and plenty of research showing no cognitive difference between men and women, the myth that women aren’t as good at math has broken the confidence of many young girls. It doesn’t take long, either – by 3rd grade, that misconception is already creating a gap and by college, it’s a chasm – women represent only 21% of engineering majors and just 19% of computer and information science majors.
Overcoming this gap is critical. Not only will it help open more opportunities for women currently in the field, but it will also create more role models, help shatter stereotypes and introduce new talent and fresh perspectives to these fields.
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