Too Few Women in Fed Tech Jobs; Too Many Challenges for Them (12/16/13) Brittany Ballenstedt

Women remain underrepresented in information technology (IT) and other science and math fields, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Women’s Work Group report. For example, the report found that women account for just 31 percent of federal IT positions. The gender disparities in the federal government are in part a result of women earning substantially fewer degrees in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. “The lower percentage of women receiving STEM degrees results in substantially fewer women than men available in the applicant pool to recruit to federal STEM positions, which presents a formidable challenge to efforts to increase women’s representation in federal STEM occupations,” the EEOC report says. In addition, the report notes that even for women who hold STEM-related degrees, many still encounter challenges in being hired, promoted, and supported compared to their male colleagues. The report recommends that agencies increase scholarship programs and partnerships with universities to stimulate STEM interest, create internship programs that encourage the participation of women, and provide STEM employees with mentors. It also recommends establishing interagency networks that foster professional associations among women in STEM fields, and hosting seminars and conferences that provide networking opportunities for female STEM workers. READ MORE