By Jennie Kroeger | May 10, 2016 | Posted in: Blog
As discussed in our previous post about STEM programs, this nationwide initiative is designed to help increase access to science, technology, engineering, and math programs and curriculum for students across the socioeconomic spectrum. It’s also designed to help teachers, educators, administrators, graduate students, and post-doctorates develop that curriculum along a set of guidelines and assisting government programs.
With such a large federal program invested in improving the status of STEM subjects in the country, it’s important to look at how it will impact women in STEM fields.
According to figures on the For Women in Science Fellowship website, women comprise 24% of the labor force in STEM fields. In 2011, the Institute of Education Sciences released a study that broke down teacher and educator demographics for the nation.
According to that study, nearly 75% of public school teachers were women ( , . source). Investment in STEM curriculum and programs stands to improve opportunities for both those demographics.
A bigger focus on providing STEM benefits to students means that a considerable amount of financial and personnel resources are going towards improving the tools and resources female STEM educators and researchers use to do their job. There are a lot of dedicated resources specifically for women in STEM fields.
As mentioned above, The For Women in Science Fellowship is one such opportunity that is provided exclusively for women in STEM programs. According to their website, in 12 years they have granted over $3 million dollars worth of fellowship funds to women in STEM fields “for their contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and commitment to serving as role models for younger generations.” In a field where women make up less than a quarter of the labor force, programs like For Women in Science are crucial to engendering the success and continued growth of the female demographic in STEM fields.
Additionally, the American Association for University Women is a massive funding organization that provides fellowships and grants to both doctoral candidates and post-doctorate graduates starting their careers, so financial support specifically for women goes beyond graduate studies and research and well into the career.