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Women and Science, sealing the leaky pipeline!

Employment opportunities in STEM-related fields are one of the fastest growing areas both locally and nationally. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that STEM fields will grow 50% faster than the economy between 2016-2026. As an additional plus, these jobs will likely pay 30-40% more than their non-STEM equivalents. So the immediate outlook for our majors in STEM fields looks bright—after graduation and training, there will be high paying jobs waiting for you!

But looking a little closer at the data, it seems this path to success is not as straight forward as that. The US Department of Commerce data shows that women make up 50% of the workforce yet only hold 29% of the STEM careers. This number is actually a little worse in Utah, where women make up only 23% of STEM workers. So that begs the question: why are women under-represented in an area where more jobs and higher salaries are promised? To paraphrase Bill Nye on his recent visit to Weber State, “Women make up half our population; I don’t see why we can’t make room to give them half our STEM jobs.”

May 3rd, 2019 
by Tracy Covey, professor of chemistry

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