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What is STEM lacking?

STEM Lacking

Over a few years STEM has seen an exponential boom and will continue to witness the same. The world has realised this, and many universities and governments are trying to make students aware and explore these fields. But have you ever wondered why is STEM growing so fast? Why do nations want young minds to pursue it? Hold on! You will get to know about all this much talked field, but before that one must understand, what actually STEM is? 

What is STEM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM education is not just about test performance rather it concentrates on developing higher-level understanding and analytical thinking skills. It illuminates collaboration, research, analysis, problem-solving, communication, critical and logical thinking and ideation. STEM bends us into the realisation that our fortune will be assembled on our capability for invention, innovation and creative and intelligent problem-solving.

Why is STEM education important?

As society is heading toward technological advances, the need for professionals and experts who comprehend how these technologies function and who can formulate rational solutions to thrive. Do you know? The U.S.  Bureau of Labor Statistics labelled STEM careers as “future’s jobs”, emphasising the significance of these unique and extraordinary industries. At present, STEM jobs are in increased demand, and many are expected to remain in demand for several years. Contrary to this, STEM professionals are in short supply, this is one of the major reasons why many universities, administrations and governments across the world are appealing to students to pursue STEM.

What is STEM lacking?

One of the major things that STEM is lacking at present is Women’s representation in the STEM field. Note that Women make up only 28% of the workforce in STEM domains whereas men tend to greatly outnumber women in the same. This huge gender gap in STEM is specifically way too high in some of the most flourishing and highest paid jobs of the future, such as computer science and engineering. Women’s representation for engineering majors and computer science majors is 21% and 19% respectively.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics 2020 following is the representation of women in STEM occupations:

  • Biological scientists- 46%
  • Chemists and Material Scientists- 40.4%
  • Computer and Mathematical Occupations- 25.2%
  • Engineers and Architects- 16.5%
Key factors perpetuating gender gaps in STEM
  • Gender Biases and stereotypes: STEM fields are often regarded as male dominant and due to this preconceived thought process, parents and teachers underestimate the mathematical abilities of girls starting as early as preschool. 
  • Masculine Cultures: Since fewer women pursue STEM degrees and careers, these fields are inclined to eternalize barring, inflexible, masculine cultures that are not supportive of or even desirable to women and other minorities. 
  • Lack of role models: To inspire their interest in the STEM domain, girls lack role models. There are very insufficient instances of female scientists and engineers in media, pop culture and books. Since they have very few people to look up to, this as a result pushes many women back to pursue STEM. 
Underrepresentation of Women in the STEM workforce

As discussed above approximately only 21% of women are engineering majors and only 19% of computer science majors. This is just one of the many examples that by the time learners enter college, women are relatively underrepresented in STEM majors.

Around 80% of the healthcare workforce are women, however, health executives and board members comprise only 21% of women and nearly a third of doctors. It’s important to know that on the other hand, women are highly represented in lower-paying fields like nurses, health workers and even lower-paying specialties like pediatricians. 

Well! looking at the statistics in the computer and engineering fields, then women who majored in computers, only 38% of them work in the computer fields. Whereas, women who majored in engineering, only 24% of them work in the engineering field. 

Apart from this, there is also a huge wage gap between men and women in the STEM field. According to the data, the annual salaries of men in STEM are around $15,000 higher per year than that of women ($85,000 compared to $60,828).


The scope of STEM is massive, it is hovered to be the next major revolution across the globe. But one thing that it is lacking is the representation of women in STEM. You can’t thrive without leaving one behind, right? Women shall not be left behind in this growing domain.

An ordinary STEM employee earns two-thirds more than those employed in other domains. And unfortunately, women are underrepresented in some of the highest-earning STEM fields.

Providing Women equal opportunities to go after and prosper in STEM careers will certainly help to narrow the gender void, enhance women’s financial security, ensure a diverse, talented and dynamic STEM workforce and not only this but this will also discourage the gender prejudices in these areas and the commodities and aids they generate or produce.


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