The problem: too few women pursue careers in the mathematical sciences. Women make up only around 1/5 of full-time faculty in doctoral math departments, and only 1/10 at the top 50 research institutions. Although nearly half of bachelor’s degrees in math are earned by women, the percentage of women drops dramatically at every subsequent stage. The numbers are just as alarming in heavily math-oriented industries and closely related fields such as engineering and computer science. Recently released statistics from tech giants report that women make up a similar percentage of their technical workforce.
The numbers on this series of pie charts may be changing, but not rapidly enough.
The deficit of women in STEM and, particularly, women in math is not just a women’s issue. In this era of big data and fast-paced technological changes – both of which require mathematical expertise and sophistication – we cannot afford to leave so much of the population behind. Diverse perspectives are necessary for scientific advances and technical innovations that benefit all. Please join the AWM in supporting initiatives and legislation to increase the number of women in the mathematical sciences.
- Expand STEM educational opportunities: Help us ensure access for girls and minorities to classes devoted to STEM subjects. Support efforts to fund programs which encourage young students to study STEM subjects and to pursue careers in technical fields.
- Support research funding: Research funding is essential for creating a vibrant research program. Please support funding the National Science Foundation at the highest possible level. These funds provide basic research grants as well as programs that specifically target women.
- Help Americans achieve a healthier work/life balance: Finding an effective work-life balance is a challenge, especially for women. Please support legislation that expands child-care and family leave options.
- Create a welcoming environment: Support legislation and initiatives that aim to create an environment free from all forms of discrimination and harassment so researchers can thrive regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious belief, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, disabilities, or any other reason unrelated to scientific merit.