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.
Female-only science programs, launched by many universities to redress gender imbalance in such fields as computer science and engineering, are coming under growing legal attack as sex discrimination against men. The U.S. Department of Education has opened more than two dozen investigations into universities across the nation -- UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC as well as Yale, Princeton and Rice...
At a 24 July briefing on Capitol Hill, Girl Scout leaders, members of Congress, and others spoke about the importance of girls entering and staying in STEM fields. As an organization, the Girl Scouts “has a long history of engaging girls in STEM activities and encouraging them to pursue their interest in science in and out of the classroom,” said Cole Grissom, GSUSA senior manager of digital content strategy.
The nonprofit Girls Who Code is working with Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) on legislation that would require schools receiving federal funding for computer science programs to disclose to the Department of Education the number and percentage of students who participate in computer science courses, as well as their gender, race and more.