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Lack of Women In Stem May Reflect Better Job Opportunities–Overqualification

August 31, 2016

Much talk in the last decade has surrounded the supposed quandary of how to push more women into STEM fields, science, technology, mathematics, etc. For a while, people assumed that women weren’t capable, which is what many of the elect university faculty says: we tried to hire a woman, but none were qualified…

Recent studies point out that the dearth of women in STEM fields may not be a result of them being under qualified, but that women are overqualified for STEM jobs held by males and can make more money elsewhere. This is the second time I have seen a study discussing the phenomenon, which makes all the discussion about women’s abilities comical.

“There are many theories about the social pressure that keeps women out of STEM,” he said. “We found that young men in general were more interested in the field, but considering that young women showed the same ability in our study, that seems to suggest that the dearth of women in the field is probably due to societal factors.”

Le notes that many students, especially women, who excel cognitively also have excellent verbal ability and will often choose a career other than STEM because they have so many opportunities before them. Le says that educators and counselors can influence those decisions by simply introducing students to the benefits of a career in science or engineering.

“This is a critical issue in our economy right now,” he said. “We have a crippling deficit of participants in the STEM field, and if we can encourage our students to pursue this path, we’ll be on our way to eradicating it.”

STEM fields actually need women now, but in essence, women who have both the verbal ability and the mathematical expertise, in comparison with their male counterparts, have better job opportunities outside of STEM. Makes me wonder why STEM glass ceilings never figured this out sooner: other fields will pay talented women more than STEM does, with better benefits. Kind of sucks for STEM that just when they need women the most, women are so over that and onto better-paying careers. I am waiting for the sorry song to begin and the begging to start, but I don’t think women will go back so easily. There has to be a benefit to women first. STEM, supposedly you have the best and the brightest scientists around, so what will you offer?

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