FAST FACT: Scary Stats on the STEM Gap

By Allie Fernandez*

Although women, minorities and low-income students have made progress in the realms of education and career opportunity in recent years, huge internal problems with the US education system still prevail – in this case, by leaving these populations behind in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and careers. Frighteningly, these positions are now on the decline for these groups. Since the 1970s, there has been much discussion on the lack of girls and women studying or working in science and math fields. But what happens when more and more young boys, minorities, and low-income students are becoming more and more obsolete in these sectors as well? Below are some fast facts on the STEM gap, compiled by Online College Courses.  Here's a quick sample:

Women are grossly underrepresented in scientific fields: Although women in the STEM labor force are growing, they still represent a smaller proportion than men. For example, women make up just 11% of engineering employees.

Women often don’t complete doctoral degrees: Although almost half of mathematics bachelors’ degrees are awarded to women, only 27% of doctoral degrees are awarded to women.

Girls don’t expect to work in science or engineering as much as boys do: 9.5% of boys plan for a STEM career, while only 4.1% of girls do.

*Allie Fernandez is a Research and Programs Intern at the National Council for Research on Women. She recently graduated from Claremont Graduate University with a Master’s in Applied Women’s Studies. Allie has interned with Human Rights Watch, Women Thrive Worldwide and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST).


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