U.S. women do not feel encouraged to pursue STEM careers – report

Technology and engineering firm Emerson has released the results of a study conducted to understand the skilled workforce gap within the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries and how the gap can be addressed.

According to the study, six out of 10 Americans are interested in pursuing STEM careers, and four in 10 have been encouraged to do so. However, two out of three U.S. women have not been encouraged to pursue a career in STEM.

Other key study findings include:

  1. Younger generations across the globe are three times more likely to be encouraged to pursue STEM careers than previous generations
  2. Stereotypes against women and a lack of female role models in engineering fields limit women participation
  3. 79% of global respondents said they believe companies should do more to train and prepare their STEM workforce
  4. The majority of people are aware of the need to boosts STEM careers; 94% are aware of the positive effect this will have on their economies
  5. Less than half of people surveyed believe their country is ahead in STEM innovation

“As automation and technology become truly ingrained in our workplaces and schools, there’s a growing urgency to prepare the workforce with STEM skills that will be critical to the continued strength of the global economy,” said David N. Farr, chief executive officer at Emerson. “We want to lead the charge in making strategic investments that will provide both the current and future workforce with the right skill sets to succeed in one of the many tremendous careers made available through STEM – from software development to new technologies in manufacturing.”

Kathy Button, senior vice president at Emerson, added: “Empowering individuals of all ages and backgrounds with the tools necessary to thrive in STEM is a crucial step in solving the growing talent gap across several key industries. We have long been dedicated to fostering a culture at Emerson that attracts and advances women through a variety of initiatives, including our 4,000-member Women in STEM group, which provides support and mentoring for our female engineers globally.”

Emerson is helping to address this skills gap issue for people of all ages through its “We Love STEM” initiatives, partnerships with more than 350 universities and technical colleges worldwide.

This article was first published on Smart Energy International and was reprinted with permission. 

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