Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
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Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Upping the Numbers

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Mary C. Mattis

Advances in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are key factors in contributing to future economic performance, higher living standards and improved quality of life. As dominant white males near retirement and immigration slows, developed countries face a serious skill shortage in critical STEM disciplines. This fascinating book examines why the numbers of women and minorities in STEM are low, outlines the potential consequences of this and prescribes much needed solutions to the problem.
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Chapter 2: Keys to Success for Women in Science

Donna J. Dean and Anne Fleckenstein


Donna J. Dean and Anne Fleckenstein INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW Today, more women are entering scientific fields than ever before, energized by challenges and intellectual inquiry at the boundaries of the unknown. They follow pathways forged by female scientists before them or blaze new trails of their own. The employment picture for those women and men trained in scientific disciplines has been, largely, a good one over the past two decades. While subfields may experience declines and resurgences as economic realities intercede, scientists in general encounter a job market that welcomes their skills. Moreover, survey after survey of the American public has documented that the profession of scientist is one of the most respected. In a world that has become increasingly driven by scientific and technological breakthroughs that affect every facet of day-to-day life, the need for a well-trained workforce in these areas can only increase. The analytical skills and content knowledge obtained in pursuing a scientific degree can position individuals for employment in a broad array of occupations and an unlimited number of settings. However, faculty at academic institutions and members of professional societies fail to articulate the diversity of opportunities that are available for young people with strong interests in science; these more senior colleagues often revert to narrow perspectives of what constitutes ‘success’. The challenge is to present the bright young female who has a strong interest in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (the STEM disciplines) with welcoming environments, challenging research problems, and...

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