The conventional wisdom is that women haven’t progressed in careers in STEM due to the pull of children and early choices not to pursue math and science careers (Moss-Racusin, Dovidio, Brescoll, Graham, & Handelsman, 2012). Some studies conclude that the relatively low percentage of women stems from these factors and “is not caused by discrimination” in STEM (Ceci, Williams, & Banett, 2009; Ceci & Williams, 2011; Ceci et al., 2011). Yet three recent studies found that gender bias also plays a role.
Underrepresented minorities' share of Science and Engineering (S&E) bachelor's and master's degrees has been rising since 1993, but their share of doctorates in these fields has flattened at about 7 percent from 2002 to 2012, according to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2015 report.
When Brown v. Board of Education was decided more than 60 years ago, there were good paying, family supporting jobs for workers without formal educational credentials. But the era of pick and shovel jobs is long gone. Those who would support themselves and their families in the 21st century need a high school diploma and more: career training, an associate degree or, ideally, a four-year college degree.