Celebrate National STEM Day by remembering the challenges women face in science and tech


National STEM Day is a good reminder of the gender gap in science and tech.
Image: Shutterstock / Solis Images

It’s National STEM day, and that means yet another reminder that women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

As educators mark their field’s national holiday, LinkedIn isn’t letting us forget one of the core problems facing STEM students and professionals. 

The jobs site looked at gender representation across college degrees and across software and IT, healthcare, and finance—all STEM-heavy fields. 

“In honor of National STEM Day, we looked at how women around the globe are faring in STEM-heavy industries—software and IT, healthcare, and finance. This included looking over the past 10 years on what women studied in university to ultimately land them in their respective careers,” LinkedIn wrote in a blog post. “What we found was that the gap starts early. While women are pursuing degrees relevant to STEM fields, they are severely underrepresented amongst graduates with technical degrees, and there is a high demand for more women in STEM fields.” 

As we know, women are underrepresented in nearly all of these fields. In leadership especially, women make up only 17 percent of those roles in software and IT. As LinkedIn pointed out, that’s barely more than the stereotypically male manufacturing, energy, and mining industries. 

And while the problems facing the recruitment and retention of women in STEM fields have to do with other factors besides the pipeline, the gender divide is notable in technical degrees too. Nineteen percent of engineering degrees go to women, 23 percent of computer science degrees go to women, and 33 percent of math degrees go to women. 

The only STEM field where women see parity and even overrepresentation is healthcare, especially degrees in health science and psychology (61 percent and 70 percent women, respectively). 

It wouldn’t be National STEM Day without a reminder of how much work is left to do. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/08/linkedin-national-stem-day/