Declining numbers of female STEM grads from US colleges

March 31, 2012

A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research raises alarm over women’s declining representation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees from US community colleges. Women earned 33.8% of STEM degrees in 1997, but only 27.5% in 2007. Women in STEM fields earn one-third more than women in non-STEM fields, and jobs in STEM fields are expected to increase by 17% by 2018. The report urges colleges to encourage women, especially low-income women with children, to participate in STEM fields by providing scholarships, childcare, peer mentoring, and targeted marketing. The report concludes that doing so “can provide an important pathway to economic security for student parents and their families, while contributing to the future competitiveness of the US economy.”  IWPR News Release  |  The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)