Barriers & Challenges to Advancement

The stigma for women to pursue STEM careers starts at an early age. Stereotypes about the difficulty of certain subjects and subtle cultural and societal cues about “masculine” and “feminine” subject matter discourage girls from pursuing these studies. Also, technology toys and video games tend to be designed and marketed for boys rather than girls. According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, high school girls associate computer science with “male geeks,” and tend to avoid science and technology clubs and activities. In higher education and STEM careers, women often report feeling isolated, marginalized and hampered by a lack of female mentors and role models. More effort is needed to encourage women to pursue advanced studies and careers in STEM through networking, hiring more women into positions of seniority and instituting parent-friendly advanced degree programs and research projects.

Mildred Garcia, President, CSU Fullerton

Mildred García, Ed.D., is the incoming president of California State University, Fullerton, and currently serves in that capacity at CSU Dominguez Hills, where she has been since 2007. She is the first Latina president of the CSU system. During her tenure, García has cut costs, boosted enrollment, increased student graduation rates and expanded fundraising. She facilitated the first endowed professorship, the <i>Wallis Annenberg Endowed Professor for Innovation in STEM Education</i>.</p><p>García is a scholar in the field of higher education, and her research and publications have concentrated on equity in higher education and its impact on policy practice.

Intellectual Property and Women Entrepreneurs

 The number of women awarded patents has soared over the last several decades far beyond previously reported figures, and the percentage of trademarks granted to women has more than doubled, a new study commissioned by the National Women’s Business Council found.

The study found that women had a higher representation among trademark holders than patent owners; in 2010, 18 percent of all patents granted went to women while 33 percent of all trademarks granted to individuals and sole proprietorships went to women.

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