Although the STEM fields have historically been male dominated, many are mindful that it’s time to bridge the gender gap and work towards encouraging female innovators and leaders of the next generation to explore opportunities in this field.
Women have accounted for 30% of employment growth in STEM since 2010, but still make up less than one-quarter of employment in these occupations. The persistence of low female representation will bear a larger and larger economic cost with time. [iv]
To promote the willingness and inclusion of women in STEM, everyone has a role to play to shift away from keeping the status quo it being a field that is male dominated, and, encourage and spark the interest of females early on.
Katie Bieber is an IT Recruitment Consultant in Roevin’s Edmonton branch. She brings over three years of professional experience to her role and in Edmonton’s tech sector. Katie focuses on clients in the IT realm and has developed exceptional connections and a network of candidates in the STEM field. She works with many passionate and pioneering candidates who overcome impressive hurdles as the only women applying for a role or being the only women on a team. Their perseverance and success have inspired her own passion for promoting women in the tech arena.
With March being National Engineering Month – coupled with International Women’s Day falling on March 8th — Adecco is continuing our look at the underrepresentation of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
The topic has become an increasingly important point of discussion. Various government bodies, reports, studies, organizations, mission statements and think tanks have explored it in recent years. The problem has almost unanimous support — both from diversity advocates and the STEM sector itself. In 2010, Natural Sciences and Engineer Research Council of Canada (NSERC) released an 84-page report on Women in Science and Engineering in Canada which explored the “under-representation of women in the various fields of science and engineering” and noted that this long-recognized problem was “of concern to the…NSERC”.
Are women really underrepresented in STEM?
According to the 2011 National Household Survey, women accounted for only 39% of university graduates aged 25-34 with a STEM degree, compared with 66% of university graduates in non-STEM programs. Moreover, the percentage of women working in the fields has barely changed in 30 years. In 1987, 20% of the STEM workforce were women. Today, it is still only 22%.
And as NSERC pointed out in their report, “Virtually all countries in the world, to varying levels, have fewer women than men studying in the NSE” (natural sciences and engineering).