Did you know that since Kim has joined the Vibrantcy staff, we now have more female employees than male? Even though women make up half of this country’s workforce, historically women are largely underrepresented in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. While it is true that the percentage of women working in these fields has increased over the years, the disparity between men and women has become a topic that many groups are researching and are trying to figure out ways to make the gap narrower.
Women have come a long way in the STEM fields since the 1980s, in the 80s only 5.8% of all engineers working in the U.S. were women. In the 30 some years that have passed since then the numbers have started to climb but not to the extent that one might expect. The greatest dipartites between the percentage of women and men working in a given field are engineering, computer science, and the physical sciences.
According to the National Science Board Science & Engineering Indicators for 2016:
· 35.2% of chemists are women;
· 11.1% of physicists and astronomers are women;
· 33.8 of environmental engineers are women;
· 17.5% of civil, architectural, and sanitary engineers are women;
· 17.1% of industrial engineers are women;
· 10.7% of electrical or computer hardware engineers are women; and
· 7.9% of mechanical engineers are women.
When it comes to student achievement in STEM fields there are some facts that are misrepresented or might not be widely known to the general public. When K-12 education is concerned in general, female students perform equally as well as their male counterparts. Females are slightly more likely to enroll in advanced science and math courses (females at 22% and males at 18%).
In 2013 women earned 57.3% of bachelor’s degrees in fields across many different disciplines. In engineering and science women earned 50.3% of the bachelor degrees that were awarded.
Its undeniable that we live in changing times. The work that various groups are currently working on to not only engage women and minorities into the STEM fields but to also make sure that they feel inclusion as much as their counterparts is truly fascinating. Locally, the University of New Mexico is working on a NSF project called “Advance at UNM.” They are a five-year National Science Foundation project that aims to help boost women and minorities in STEM at UNM. For more information, please click here.
One of the most valuable things to a girl who is interested in going into the STEM fields to find is a role model who she can look up to. Here at Vibrantcy, we are proud to say that we have a strong female presence in our little corner of the STEM community and we are looking forward to growing and working with community groups, building owners, upcoming engineers and contractors. For more resources for getting girls involved with the STEM fields check out the following links.
Author: Rose Davenport
Title: Marketing Coordinator