Are Women Being Pushed Out of STEM Jobs?

We’re all aware that women are way outnumbered in the tech industry. According to the Verizon Foundation, while the need for tech skills will only increase in demand for all jobs in the future, the chances of women getting and excelling in these positions is being impeded by social perceptions that STEM jobs are in “male industries.”

Monica Eaton-Cardone, founder and CIO of Global Risk Technologies and advocate of women in business, believes that in order for today’s young women to have a chance tomorrow, gender must be taken out of the equation when it comes to career paths.


According to a Harvard Business Review article, the number of women in STEM has actually decreased since 1991, and the number of women studying and pursuing careers in technology has been going down by 0.5 percent each year. If this trend continues, less than 1 percent of the global tech workforce will be female by 2043. Currently, women hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs in the U.S.

When compounded with the prediction of the increase in STEM jobs, this data suggests a dismal job market for a future generation of women unless something is done to address the crisis. Statistics indicate that women may not be staying away from STEM jobs due to a lack of interest. While 66 percent of fourth-grade girls report that they are interested in science and math, only 18 percent of all college engineering majors is female.

The alarming absence of women in STEM positions has even attracted attention from the White House. The fifth annual White House Science Fair—a celebration of student winners of STEM competitions from across the country—held a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling at STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work.

Eaton-Cardone says that the long-term solution lies in a two-prong approach; encouraging women to follow their initial interests, and educating young women of the growing potential and overall career flexibility in STEM. “Women do not need to put one dream on hold in order to realize another. The opportunity to add a valuable contribution to society through technology is a benefit that should be promoted more – especially to women,” says Eaton-Cardone. “The more we raise awareness on this issue, the fewer women will shy away from contributing.”

Do you have ideas of how to encourage girls to pursue STEM careers? We would love to hear your ideas. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

SOLIDWORKS Encourages Women to Pursue Careers in STEM

Marie Planchard, director of Education Portfolio at SOLIDWORKS, is spearheading the effort to encourage women to pursue STEM careers. She travels the world looking for stand-out women engineers who use SOLIDWORKS to create amazing products. Check out Marie’s SOLIDWORKS Teacher Blog to be inspired by some of the work young people—both boys and girls—are designing with SOLIDWORKS. Also, watch this video of Marie’s talk at a TEDx event during which she explains the unique perspective offered by women engineers.


In celebration of International Women’s Day in March wrote this blog post, “Let Girls to School. Let Girls Be Engineers. Let Girls Learn.” about her visit with the recent graduates of Nyanza Technical High School in Rwanda. Ninety percent of the proceeds from the newly announced SOLIDWORKS Entrepreneur Program will be given to the Rwandan Girls Scholarship Program.


At SOLIDWORKS, we’re also always striving to recognize the achievements of women in engineering. The SOLIDWORKS Women in Engineering (WIE) Program was created to recognize the outstanding achievements being made every day by women in the engineering field. Every month the program recognizes one woman who demonstrates leadership, innovative accomplishments, and outstanding contributions to the engineering field and/or community. If you know of a remarkable female engineer who is deserving of some recognition, click here to nominate her.

Barb Schmitz

Barb Schmitz

Senior Marketing Communications Manager at SolidWorks
Barb Schmitz is a Senior Manager in Marketing Communications with BA in Journalism and over 30 years of experience in the CAD software industry. She started her career as a journalist covering technology and served as an editor for several leading industry publications for over 20 years. Besides being a sleuth of tech, she is a loyal dog owner, travel bum, mom, lover of hoppy IPAs, red wine, and alternative music lover living in the great city of Chicago.