Women Remain Underrepresented in Science and Technology Fields
Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, but represent less than a quarter of all employees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project.
The WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) initiative at the Da Vinci Science Center aims to increase participation in STEM fields among women. Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO, recently sat down with PBS39 FOCUS host Laura McHugh to discuss this issue.
“It varies by field. In the medical areas and biology, there’s much more equity. In the physical sciences, and especially in computer science and engineering, there is not,” Erickson said. “In computer science over the last several decades, the percentage of women has gone down. Engineering has been flat for about thirty years.”
The Center recently hosted two events to promote STEM careers to young women and dispel myths surrounding these fields.
“Girls want to contribute to service, give back and make a difference in the world. They see that as very isolated and not making a difference in the world, where it’s exactly the opposite,” Erickson continues. “The truth is that, as a scientist or engineer, you have enormous opportunities to make the world a better place.”
In the Lehigh Valley, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, YWCA of Bethlehem and Da Vinci Science Center have initiatives to support women in science. Learn more about this issue and more on FOCUS: Full STEAM Ahead.