May 17, 2017

10 Facts About Women In STEM

The current exhibit at the Women’s Museum of California, To Observe and Wonder, celebrates the history of extraordinary women working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) throughout history and today.

What is the state of women working in STEM fields today? Here are ten facts about female representation in STEM:

1.) The gender gap in the STEM workforce still persists. While women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, the make up only 29% of the science and engineering workforce.

2.) About 40% of men with STEM college degrees work in STEM jobs, whereas only 26 percent % of women with STEM degrees work in STEM jobs. Female STEM majors are twice as likely as men to work in education or healthcare.

3.) Minority women comprise fewer than 1 in 10 employed scientists and engineers.

4.) Male students are over three times more likely to be interested in STEM majors and careers, compared to female students

6.) Less than 20% of bachelor’s degrees in computer science go to women, even though female graduates hold 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees.

7.) Women who start out in business roles in tech-intensive industries leave for other industries at high rates—53% of women, compared to 31% of men. In the United States, only 11% of working engineers are women. Among women who earned engineering degrees, over a third (38%) quit engineering or never even entered the profession.

8.) Among the highest degree-holders working full-time in science and engineering in the United States in 2013, women made 31.3% less than men in median annual salary: $55,000 for women compared to $80,000 for men

9.) 21% of girls say their parents encourage them to become an actress, while 10% of girls say their parents have encouraged them to think about an engineering career.

10.) More than half (57%) of all girls say that girls don’t typically consider a career in STEM.

Help end the gender gap in STEM fields. Get inspired by the amazing women showcased in the Women’s Museum gallery and encourage young girls to get involved in STEM activities and classes.

Women have played a vastly important role in the development and dissemination of science. Having made significant contributions to science from the earliest times, they were leaders in building the early foundation of modern programming and unveiled the structure of DNA. Their work inspired environmental movements and led to the discovery of new genes. Women broke the sound barrier — and gender barriers all along the way.

Inspiring more young women to pursue careers in science starts with simply sharing the stories of these pioneers — both then and now.

All contributions and bequests are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by federal and state law. The Women’s Museum of California is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation. Tax ID is 95-3893212.

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