Huge gender gap in STEM careers, a concern

Chevron, a California-based energy company, has been committed to contributing financial support to STEM education proposals in the United States. Last year (2013), they invested almost $94 million and promised to invest millions more throughout the next three years. STEM, which is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics, is an education initiative that…“works aggressively to raise awareness in Congress, the Administration, and other organizations about the critical role that [it] plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technology leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century,” according to the STEM Coalition website.

A major component of this macro-level initiative is women’s place, in some capacity, in these male-dominated fields. Some notable figures, such as Chelsea Clinton, have spoken publicly about gender gap concerns in the areas of STEM.

In a panel discussion at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on June 23rd, Clinton commented that more should be done for women who would like to seek out various technical roles, especially as a means to elevate overall gender diversity. “There are fewer girls who are aspirational in the math and science fields in the United States than there were 20 years ago. We have significantly fewer women graduating with computer science degrees,” she said.

Chevron, though committed to the importance of careers embedded in STEM, seemingly agree with Clinton’s sentiment as well. Both of their arguments show that more needs to be done to ensure the social acceptability of women in these technically-themed roles.

When considering that there are many job openings but not enough people to appropriately fill the roles, the discussion on women’s place in STEM-oriented careers becomes more pronounced.