Upping the Numbers
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Mary C. Mattis
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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