Why So Few? It’s a Global QuestionSeptember 23, 2010
Did you know that men outnumber women 73 percent to 27 percent in all sectors of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) employment? AAUW’s latest report, Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, presents in-depth yet accessible profiles of eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers that continue to block women’s participation and progress in science, technology, engineering, and math.
If you thought this was just a local issue, think again. Around the world, women and girls face similar obstacles in achieving access to education, training, and employment in lucrative, cutting-edge professions like technology and engineering. Although evidence suggests that putting technology in the hands of women benefits not only these individuals but also their communities, women are still less likely to have access to technology in many parts of the world.
So it’s a major step forward that the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women will consider participation of women and girls in education, training, science, and technology, including women’s equal access to full employment and decent work as the priority theme during its 55th session in March 2011.
To prepare for that meeting, the U.N. Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization will convene an expert group meeting on gender, science, and technology from September 28–October 1, 2010 in Paris. AAUW will be an observer at this important meeting.
The meeting will explore the gender dimensions of science and technology and identify policies and programs that can accelerate progress toward internationally agreed upon goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. The meeting will examine strategies for the following:
- Increasing women’s access to and use of technology, including more gender-responsive products
- Increasing women’s access to and participation in science and technology education and training
- Eliminating barriers to women’s participation in science and technology employment
AAUW has prepared an excellent background paper in advance of the meeting, which outlines our key research, programs, and advocacy for increasing women and girls’ participation in STEM.
Through research, fellowships and grants, the National Girls Collaborative Project, AAUW Campus Action Projects, and community-based STEM programs, AAUW doesn’t just ask, “Why so few?” We provide active solutions to help women and girls bridge the gap in STEM.