While the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field has had an astonishing 80 percent increase in jobs in the United States, the gender imbalance has left almost half the population at risk of being left behind. In a recent survey conducted by CDW Corporation, women are shown to feel uncomfortable in male-dominated classrooms, have negative experiences concerning stereotypes, as well as lacking a role model in their field. Because of this, the women that do earn STEM degrees has hit a standstill. This survey included 150 students who have either graduated within the last five years, or plan on graduating, as well as 150 students who have already left the STEM major.
In the survey, almost half of the women stated that they had thoughts about switching from the STEM major; while one in five of current STEM students stated that they would not choose this path again. Two-thirds of those surveyed said that they struggled with their choice of major, and 48 percent said that being a woman has made it difficult for them in the STEM major.
If this trend pursues, then the technology fields will become less and less diverse, and there will be a shortage in these professions. The solution to this? To make sure that girls and young women are encouraged in STEM careers and have every opportunity to succeed. There are many ways to achieve this, but the most effective would be to offer more internship and experience opportunities equally to women, and to bring in more female role models. Mentorships are important and can show women a look into the real world and to what they can accomplish in the future. With the right resources, young women will be able to feel like they believe in the STEM field and continue down their path.
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