On Wednesday, the US Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) released the second report on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs and higher education, which found fewer women than men in STEM jobs and pursuing degrees in STEM fields. The report entitled “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation” also noted that there is greater income parity between genders in STEM jobs than there is in the employment market overall. According to the report, men in STEM jobs earn 14 percent more than women in STEM jobs.
Currently, only 24 percent of STEM jobs are held by women, who earned 33 percent more than women not in STEM jobs in 2009. According to Rebecca Blank, acting Commerce Secretary, possible factors contributing to fewer women than men in STEM jobs include less family-friendly flexibility, lack of women role models, and gender stereotyping.
In response to the fact that the percentage of women in STEM fields has not grown in a decade, Blank stated, “closing the gender gap in STEM degrees will boost the number of Americans in STEM jobs, and that will enhance U.S. innovation and sharpen our global competitiveness.”