Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Something To Think About

We've all heard about the shortage of women in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). It has become a policy issue for the obama administration and women's advocacy groups. In fact, the first result of a Google search for 'women stem' is a link to the White House's policy statement on the matter.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy, in collaboration with the White House Council on Women and Girls, is dedicated to increasing the participation of women and girls—as well as other underrepresented groups—in the fields of science, engineering, and mathematics...
Also in the Top 10 of 'women stem' Google results is this link to the American Association of University Women's (AAUW) mission statement.
AAUW values the importance of supporting girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as part of our mission to break through barriers for women and girls.
Nothing wrong with either of those positions. Our 18-year-old daughter is heading off to college in a few weeks with the intention of getting an engineering degree, so I'm happy to see her get all the support possible.

Take a look at the chart below. You'll notice that women earned only 18% of Engineering degrees conferred in 2012. They are obviously underrepresented.


However...

The chart also reveals that men were equally underrepresented in Education degrees: 79% went to women, and only 21% to men. Ditto for Health degrees (85% to 15%).

In fact, women earned more degrees than men in 7 out of the 10 most conferred degrees, and were pretty darned close in Business and Social Sciences. So where are the policy statements and support groups for men interested in the Health, Education, and Psychology fields?

Interesting, isn't it, how facts can help us see things in a different light?

(H/T to Carpe Diem for the chart.)

4 comments:

Old NFO said...

Yep, but you know that is a minefield... :-)

Harper said...

I am curious, what is the gender breakdown overall, for college students?

Equal opportunity is a good thing. Let people choose their path and provide a level playing field for all. No extra encouragement here, no extra bennies there. Everyone has the same support. Except the stupid people.

Anonymous said...

...our mission to break through barriers for women and girls.

It's a "barrier" of choice. Get over it, already.

XS3mdrvr

CenTexTim said...

NFO - Yeah, kind of like pointing out the differences in crime rate by race...

Harper - For 35 years, women have outnumbered men in American colleges.

"Federal data show that female students became the majority in 1979 and for the past decade have accounted for about 57 percent of enrollment at degree-granting institutions. This gender gap holds true for many kinds of students at many kinds of schools, from part-timers in community college to full-timers in private, nonprofit colleges."

Keep in mind, though, that the chart shows degrees awarded by percentages, which negates the effect of overall enrollment by gender numbers.

XS3 - Very true, although the liberals would argue that 'societal factors' encourage women to avoid STEM courses.