Why so few? Women in STEM | Gender Report on Technology

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 11.43.41AAUW is proud to have been selected by the National Science Foundation to conduct this study of women’s underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Since 1881, AAUW has encouraged women to study and work in these areas through fellowships and grants, research, programming, and advocacy. From local science camps and conferences to our groundbreaking research reports, AAUW has a long history of breaking through barriers for women and girls.

Women have made tremendous progress in education and the workplace during the past 50 years. Even in historically male fields such as business, law, and medicine, women have made impressive gains. In scientific areas, however, women’s educational gains have been less dramatic, and their progress in the workplace still slower. In an era when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law, and business, why are so few women becoming scientists and engineers?

This study tackles this puzzling question and presents a picture of what we know—and what is still to be understood—about girls and women in scientific fields. The report focuses on practical ways that families, schools, and communities can create an environment of encouragement that can disrupt negative stereotypes about women’s capacity in these demanding fields. By supporting the development of girls’ confidence in their ability to learn math and science, we help motivate interest in these fields. Women’s educational progress should be celebrated, yet more work is needed to ensure that women and girls have full access to educational and employment opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Download full report here

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