Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
Only 14.3 percent of Division I coaches are women, the fewest since 1992, according to a national survey by the former Brooklyn College professors R. Vivian Acosta and Linda Jean Carpenter.
Longtime female coaches say that many qualified candidates, especially those who are mothers or plan to be, leave the profession rather than juggle the demands of coaching and motherhood.
Fewer, they say, are willing to uproot their families to pursue jobs, as men routinely do, or toil for 10 years at modest pay for a chance to be a head coach when so few women are hired. Most Division I assistants make $40,000 to $50,000 a year. The median salary for Division I head coaches is $125,100, according to the 2004-10 N.C.A.A. Gender Equity Report.
In the next five years, STEM jobs are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in all other fields according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. While all jobs are expected to grow by 10.4 percent, STEM jobs are expected to increase by 21.4 percent. Similarly, 80 percent of jobs in the next decade will require technical skills.
By this measure, future STEM jobs represent a huge opportunity to today's students. But to put these numbers into perspective, of the 3.8 million ninth graders in the U.S., only 233,000 end up choosing a STEM degree in college, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This means only 6 percent of ninth graders will become STEM graduates. And of these graduates, women will be even more underrepresented in most STEM fields.
These are alarming statistics. How do we get more young boys and girls to be interested in STEM-related fields? It isn't an easy task. Schools do not always adequately prepare students for these rigorous subjects, and college programs are designed to weed out the less persistent. Nationally, only 41 percent of initial White and Asian American STEM majors who begin a degree in STEM-related fields complete their degree in less than six years.
In addition, societal pressures continue to loom over girls who might otherwise consider the STEM fields. A couple of years ago, I met amazing parents, both of whom had a background in engineering and hoped their 10 year-old daughter would follow in their footsteps. They encouraged her to take an after school science/robotics program. When she got there, she found she was outnumbered 6:1 by boys in the class. As the only girl, she came home crying much of the time because she was teased and told that geeky girls are not welcome in the boys' club. Ironically, by the time young adults are entering college programs in STEM fields, many complain about the lack of gender diversity.
Overall, women in these fields, collectively known as STEM, for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, are staying in these positions at the same rate as men, according to work done by Deborah Kaminski of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Cheryl Geisler of Simon Fraser University.
"This is really good news, it means if we hire them we are going to be able to keep them," Kaminski said in a podcast released by the journal Science, in which the study appears. The two also found that men and women receive promotions at about the same times.
In these fields overall, half of faculty will have departed within 10.9 years of their careers. One discipline bucks the overall trend, however. In mathematics, half of women leave by 4.45 years, and half of male faculty by 7.33 years into their careers, the study found. (A study released this week found that due to the demands of a professorship, many women choose motherhood over academics in math and science fields.)
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.
Men file far more patents than women do, but women are securing an increasing number of patents and trademarks, according to a recent study by the National Women’s Business Council, a government advisory panel.
In 2010, 22,984 patents were granted to women, a 35 percent jump over the previous year. The increase for men was only 28 percent.
“Overall, women held 18 percent of all patents granted in 2010, compared to the 14 percent they had a decade earlier. In 1990, they earned only 9 percent,” the study found.
Interestingly, the NWBC paper found that the highest rate of increase in the grant of patents to women was in the 1986-1993 period, and the slowest rate was in the 1999-2006 period, during the dot-com bubble.
The picture for trademarks was even better. Women nearly doubled their share of trademarks within a 30-year span.
Kathy Krendl, President of Otterbein University, argues that today's woman is not only faced with many barriers -- fewer educational opportunities, lower wage prospects, higher unemployment numbers -- but is also faced with a tangible lack of resources.
There is a direct correlation between educational attainment and poverty. Despite women losing 83.8 percent of the public positions eliminated between July 2009 and January 2011, The National Women's Law Center found the hardest hit demographic remains women without a high school diploma. Roughly 15 percent of all women without a high school diploma are unemployed, according to the Department of Labor. The unemployment rate of women who hold a bachelor's degree is 4.7 percent. We must do a better job of informing women about the benefits of an education and providing them access to achieve their academic goals.
Such unexamined prejudice also contributes to the fact that women and girls are now the majority of individuals living in poverty in every state, including the District of Columbia. More than ever before, women and their families are showing up at local food pantries and struggling to make ends meet. We must confront the reality of 850,000 women and girls across this state who experience regular food insecurity and are unsure when -- and whether -- there will be a next meal.
The recession further undermined many efforts to develop women’s leadership, particularly in the corporate world, where diversity initiatives were often seen as an optional luxury whose budgets were the first to be slashed when financial cutbacks were imposed. “With the economic downturn, it has become okay not to focus on practices and invest in programs that support women,” says Linda Basch, president of the National Council for Research on Women.
Data from the Graduate Management Admissions Council indicates that more women are working towards MBAs than ever before.
According to the GMAC, women accounted for 41 percent of the close to 259,000 people who took the Graduate Management Admission Test in 2011, which is a requirement for most MBA programs. The number of exams taken by women was 106,800, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth for women test-takers. This was also the third year in a row that over 100,000 women took the exam.
In the United States, women took nearly 46,000 exams -- the largest number out of any country in the world. The greatest percentage of women who took the GMAT, however, was in China, where 64 percent, or about 33,000, of those who sat for the test were women.
Nevertheless, the GMAC research also found that female MBAs who graduated from 2000 to 2011 and are working full-time earned just 81 percent of what their male counterparts did.