Op-Ed: Women in STEM by Laura Friedman
GLENDALE - Earlier this month the state Assembly celebrated “California Women and Girls in STEM Week.” The Assembly started this tradition as a way to bring to light the vast gender inequalities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and to encourage our young women to pursue opportunities in these areas.
It should be no surprise that nearly half of the U.S. workforce is female, and that women are earning almost 60% of bachelor’s degrees. But a closer look reveals huge disparities — the more that girls and women advance in STEM fields, the greater the attrition in their numbers. Case in point: although girls tend to study STEM subjects in roughly equal numbers to boys in high school, and earn 50% of all STEM bachelor’s degrees, they make up only 15% of graduates and workers in engineering.