Women in STEM: Realizing the Potential
Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics.
Those four words contain the key to the United States holding its position as the innovation and technology leader of the world, given that 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. depend upon a mastery of mathematics and scientific knowledge and skills. STEM is also the key to U.S. employment and prosperity, because it’s where the jobs are. Between 2010 and 2020, STEM-related employment is projected to increase by 16 percent to more than 8.5 million jobs. And as early as 2018, the nation faces a skills shortage of 230,000 STEM employees.
Now consider this figure: More than 75 percent of STEM workers are male. Just under 25 percent are female— even though women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy.
The gap between those numbers tells a story of squandered human potential— untapped talent that this country can ill afford to lose. Mentorship can be part of the solution. High-quality skills-based mentoring and sponsorship programs that connect girls and young women with STEM professionals can significantly increase the number of women who pursue and succeed in STEM fields.
This white paper, produced in collaboration with our founding partner Tata Consultancy Services, brings together facts that illuminate the opportunity and the gaps for women in STEM education and careers. It ends with a call for action—to support Million Women Mentors as we seek one million women and men to serve as STEM mentors for girls and young women by 2018.
Together, our efforts with TCS can help close the STEM gender achievement gap