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Department of Commerce Releases STEM Gender Gap Report

 By Ariella Faitelson*

The Department of Commerce Economic and Statistics Administration released a report (August 3rd) highlighting the importance of advancing women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Management (STEM). The report, entitled “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation,” showed that despite women making up half of the workforce, they still lack representation in both STEM degrees and careers. It is interesting to note that there is less of a gender wage gap in STEM jobs because women earn 33 percent more than women in non-STEM jobs. The report called for increased efforts of encouragement and support for women in STEM. Although Title IX anti-discrimination legislation assisted in increasing rates of women receiving STEM degrees, there still exists an enormous gender gap when it comes to STEM employment. The Department of Commerce says it hopes to open up more employment opportunity in this vital field.  

Bloomberg covered the report’s release quoting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, “our ability to increase the number of STEM workers will increase our ability to foster economic growth.” They also featured Linda Rosen, CEO of Change the Equation, who provides some external analysis. Read the article here.

See also, the American Association of University Women’s 2010 report focused on STEM education entitled “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” It presents and analyzes “eight recent research findings that provide evidence that social and environmental factors contribute to the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering.” The report tracks the lack of women in STEM jobs back to the underrepresentation of women in STEM educational areas.

Additionally, the Association of American Colleges and Universities sponsors Project Kaleidoscope, a program which seeks to advance STEM undergraduate education. The program, established in 1989, has assisted in retaining and supporting students in STEM academic areas on college campus across the country. To learn more, visit their website here.


*Ariella Faitelson is a Communications Intern with the National Council for Research on Women. She is a junior at Emory University studying Women's Studies and Sociology.

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