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Women in STEM fields: Academics and mentoring

The percentage of women studying STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) in colleges is low—just 19 percent. STEM is often seen in academics as a boy’s club, and many colleges are having trouble attracting and retaining women in science and technology. Here are some ways colleges are encouraging women to study STEM and how an effective and sympathetic mentor can help them graduate.

The percentage of women studying STEM fields is low, some colleges are finding ways to change that. (Credit: Research Matters)

The percentage of women studying STEM fields is low, some colleges are finding ways to change that. (Credit: Research Matters)

Women underrepresented in STEM

Although women lead men in college enrollment and graduation rates, men still vastly outnumber women in the number of graduates in STEM fields. Read more

How to increase women in science careers

Argonne National Laboratory's "Science Careers in Search of Women" demonstrates why a career in science might be right for them. (Credit: George Joch)

Argonne National Laboratory’s “Science Careers in Search of Women” demonstrates why a career in science might be right for them. (Credit: George Joch)

Over the past 40 years, the number of women earning advanced degrees in the fields of science has quadrupled. Despite these gains, many in the academic world and beyond are still very concerned about how to increase the number of women in science careers. So why are women not sticking with science careers, and how can they be encouraged to continue on a scientific employment path after completing their education? And does it matter if the sciences aren’t diverse?

Trends and barriers

The most recent data indicates that women are earning more bachelor’s and master’s degrees, across all areas of study, in the United States. Read more