Last month, we took a closer look at the U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index and its “High School Interest” component. We noted that research and data nation-wide continues to tell a story of female interest lacking in the STEM fields.
But could that be changing?
STEM Premier was proud to recently announce that the population of its platform had surpassed 100,000 middle, secondary, and post secondary students across the country. As the U.S. economy shifts ever more toward a STEM prevalent one, it is no surprise that students are flocking to join STEM Premier’s digital community.
What is surprising, at least to those familiar with current data, is that females are creating STEM Premier profiles at a much faster clip than male students. Currently, females outnumber males 56% to 44% on the platform. Even in populations where male profiles are outpacing their female counterparts, it’s not by much. For example, in South Carolina - which currently boasts more STEM Premier students than any other state - males only hold a slight 53-47% edge. This is a far cry from the male-dominated state of STEM that is being indicated by some current research.
While it is true that STEM Premier students are interested in a wide variety of fields and industries, both inside and outside of STEM, the fact that female students are drawn so intensely to STEM Premier’s platform remains an interesting phenomenon.
Perhaps this change of course isn’t completely unforeseen. Initiatives to increase female participation in STEM have been in place for years. The White House and it’s female Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, are also embarking on furthering those initiatives by raising awareness of female participation in STEM and through new efforts to increase computer science education to young females and minorities.
Research has found substantial benefits in adding female diversity to businesses. Taking account of such revelations, STEM Premier is excited to see STEM’s gender landscape shifting. As it does, it ensures that the barriers which have historically precluded women from entering STEM are falling. That’s great news, because making every kind of career accessible to students who desire them is what we’re all about.