A Delta flight operated exclusively by women, and carrying 120 young females as passengers, took off this week to inspire more women to become aviators and advocate for equality in a "male-dominated industry."
Despite recent strides in gender pay equity and an overall increase in women in STEM education and careers, a troubling fact remains for the industry and the nation: Not a single state has more women than men with STEM degrees. The gap is widest in New Mexico, where women have 22.5% fewer STEM bachelor's degrees than men.
More than six months after canceling what would have been the first spacewalk conducted by a team of two women, NASA has rescheduled the historic moment for Oct. 21. The spacewalk will be conducted by NASA astronauts Christina Koch, who has been living in space since March and was scheduled for the original all-women spacewalk, and Jessica Meir, who arrived at the International Space Station in September.
The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation, organizer of the world’s largest robotics competition and leader in STEM education, is doing a careful examination of gender diversity. Although many organizations and companies are making strides toward solutions for this society-wide concern, improvements just aren’t coming fast enough.
In February 2018, Cybersecurity Ventures optimistically predicted that by the end of 2019, women will represent more than 20 percent of the global cybersecurity workforce. We’re now only a few months away from that prediction either coming true or falling flat. Also noteworthy is the fact that the cybersecurity field still yearns for experts to join the workforce, whether they are male or female.
While women made up more than 50% of higher education students in those subjects - known collectively as STEM - their numbers fell dramatically with seniority, found a study by the University of Michigan and the New York Stem Cell Foundation. On average, women filled about 40% of assistant professor jobs, 30% of associate professor positions, and 20% of full professor jobs, it said.
There’s no question that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) plays a critical role in any child’s education. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to expose kids to and get them interested in STEM is through reading.
Men and women feel differently about this issue. Roughly four in 10 (42%) women believe that offering female-only opportunities is not a violation of gender discrimination laws like Title IX. Another 34 percent of women believe that it is a violation. Responses from men show almost the exact inverse: 44 percent believe that offering female-only educational opportunities is indeed a violation of Title IX; 34 percent disagree.
Why is there a national, and international, push to involve more women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math? The four subjects are critical to answering the world’s top problems, be they climate change, overpopulation or starvation across the planet, among others. Tricia Berry, of the Texas Girls Collaborative Project and an engineering professor at the University of Texas, said the ideas developed by women, along with other underrepresented minorities, would go a long way to solving those issues.
The numbers are getting better. Six in 10 Americans are interested in pursuing STEM careers, according to a new survey by Emerson. However only 39% have ”felt encouraged to do so,” the study concludes. When it comes to attracting women to the field, the numbers aren’t looking good. Two out of three women said they were not encouraged to pursue a career in STEM.