Key points:

The bottom line: Representation matters

Encouraging a passion for STEM from a young age will keep more women in STEM

The number of women working in STEM jobs has increased 31 percent over the past decade, but women continue to be outnumbered by men in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs—including roles in engineering, computer science, and the physical sciences. Although women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, they only represented 34 percent of the science and engineering roles in 2021, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Not only is it important to see more women fill STEM jobs from an equity standpoint, but there is also a lack of professionals to fill the demand for future STEM roles, projected to grow by 11 percent over the next decade.

To interest young women in STEM-related careers, we must instill a passion for STEM education at an early age and continue to provide support for girls throughout their academic careers.

Empowering girls to excel

According to a recent Microsoft study, 31 percent of girls in middle school believe that jobs requiring coding and programming are “not for them.” In high school, that number rises to 40 percent. By the time they’re in college, 58 percent of young women disqualify themselves from STEM jobs.