Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Diversify the STEM Workforce

Four billion dollars, not doll hairs, dollars.  That is the net worth of the world’s top three female leaders in technology.  Former President and CEO of eBay and current Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman; Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer; and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are all among the most successful women in the world of technology.

With such affluent women like these three to look up to, one would assume many aspiring young women would attempt to follow in their footsteps.  This, however, is not the case.  Women make up around 60 percent of college and university graduates, yet only 24 percent have chosen to work in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

The total lack of female representation in STEM isn’t without reason, though.  Many women find it considerably intimidating to enter a career field that has so long been dominated by men.  It is important for women and other minorities underrepresented in STEM jobs to understand that the world will always have a need for technological advancement, and with the right qualifications, they can make it happen.

If contributing to the growth of the world isn’t enough, maybe a sufficient sum of money will persuade more women to enter the STEM world.  According to the Office of Science and Technology, women in STEM careers can earn up to 33 percent more money than women in other occupations.  If that doesn’t encourage more women to pursue a job in STEM, who knows what will. 

Women must realize that businesses are constantly looking to diversify their workforce.  This need for diversity presents a wonderful opportunity for women to enter a primarily male workforce, and to actually contribute and make a difference.  More female workers in STEM are the key to innovation and the world’s future growth because they provide a way to develop new concepts and give fresh perspectives on previously male ideas.

To find out more about the need for women in STEM, read: http://bit.ly/1oLWUyt

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