Women are underrepresented in the STEM disciplines, which include science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Women typically comprise less than 25% of the workforce in these fields.
This results in huge losses to the economy and society. Why don't more women choose STEM careers? One explanation is men prefer working with things and women prefer working with people. It can also be argued that women take on more responsibilities like raising children and need jobs that offer more flexibility. Many women may also feel underrepresented and outnumbered by men in the work.
Statistics also confirm that women tend to fall out of STEM careers more rapidly then men. This may be because of gender inequality in the workplace.
Gender expectations and stereotypes may keep women from pursuing STEM careers. In school, boys are encouraged to be active and girls are more obedient and follow the rules. When going after work opportunities, women are more likely to be diligent about having all the prerequisites before they apply, whereas men just take the leap.
Overall, if women can become self advocates and take some risk, they stand a better chance of having a very rewarding career. Also, the more female role models there are in STEM fields, the more likely other women will be attracted to the work.
The 9th Annual Energetic Women Conference brought together over 400 role models, many of them women, in the energy field.
This blog was updated on December 26th, 2018.