Women In STEM: 5 Challenges To Overcome & Achieve Success

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Women in STEM refers to women in these fields. This phrase comes up to represent women in traditionally male-dominated roles.

Over time, women have made great strides to enter the STEM fields and build successful STEM careers. Yet, even though women comprise about 47% of the total workforce, only 27% of STEM workers are women (as of 2019).

This issue doesn’t just exist in the United States. Internationally, there is underrepresentation for women in STEM as well. As of 2016, women on average account for only 29.3% of those employed in scientific research and development (R&D) across the world.

Women have made progress because of increased opportunities and companies being more mindful of improving their diversity by having women at the table. There are also financial support programs to encourage young women to pursue STEM careers.

There are resources available for women in STEM to help them pursue their fields of interest and succeed. For instance, special scholarship programs exist to encourage young women to pursue STEM careers.

Addressing The Challenges For Women in STEM

1 – Confidence & Intimidation Feeling like you don’t belong where you are or don’t deserve it can be a huge hurdle to overcome for a woman in the workplace. That is especially true for women in STEM, a typically male-dominated field.

2 – Lack Of Transparency This is a big topic nowadays, especially when considering gender equality. It affects everyone, but women are especially susceptible to the adverse effects of lack of transparency.

3 – Fighting Societal Assumptions Over Gender Roles There are so many stories out there about companies and bosses making assumptions about how committed a woman is to her job. I’ve also heard stories about a lack of interest in hiring someone who’s young and newly married as they may have to “deal with maternity leave.”

4 – Finding Mentorship Even if the mentors are there, women in STEM often don’t feel they have access to them. The reasons for this vary depending on the job, industry, and the people involved. Also, finding female role models in the various STEM fields can be difficult as fewer women are employed.

5 – Lack Of A Community Or Support Network Women in STEM have to fight to be heard and find like-minded folks (or other women) with whom they can connect and rely upon for support. Women tend to be hard on each other because the competition is so stiff that they feel the need to protect their progress & interests.

Women in STEM are a unique group of female professionals. They must overcome many hurdles to get through school and training and move up the ranks at work. Addressing the challenges mentioned here can make it easier for women to join STEM fields and benefit us as a society.

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