Diversity in the workplace is important for a number of reasons. Some of those include having a workforce that understands and reflects your customer base or an atmosphere of different perspectives that can create innovative ideas. Diversity is also looked at by some as an indicator of a company's financial success. However, despite the advantages, there continues to be a shortage of women in STEM fields.
Based on data from WANTED Analytics, we examined the most in-demand jobs in STEM (science, tech, engineering, and mathematics) fields and the number of qualified women currently in the US workforce for each category.
Percentage of Male and Female Candidates for the Most In-Demand STEM Jobs
Source: WANTED Analytics
Of the STEM fields, engineering has the largest deficit, with only 14% of women making up the workforce. The shortage of women in engineering positions is especially evident for Mechanical Engineer and Architectural and Engineering Manager jobs, where about 7% of candidates are female. There was also a lack of gender diversity in tech jobs, with Software Developers (Applications) and Network and Computer Systems Administrators having the lowest percentage of females in those positions. In the science field, Environmental Scientists and Specialists (including Health) had the lowest percentage of women in the workforce. The gender gap is smaller among math occupations, which are 44% female and 56% male. In Math, the gap was widest in Actuary positions.
To increase diversity in these positions, ERE suggests offering an enticing referral program, conducting candidate market research enabling you to tailor your recruiting approach to meet their needs, or having female upper management reach out to relate and inspire the candidate, among other things. While these considerations may help you compete and attract a female STEM candidate from another company, it may be wise to start younger and build interest in your field at an earlier age. Get involved with local high schools and colleges to encourage students to seek a career in a STEM field. Below are the colleges and universities with the largest graduating female classes in each occupational category. By speaking with these students, you can increase the chances of them taking a STEM job and not leaving the field or encourage other students to switch majors.
Source: WANTED Analytics
If you want to find out what labor market and talent supply for STEM fields look like in your area, let me know in the comments.