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Is the gender imbalance in stem related majors a problem or is it decreasing now a days?

I plan on majoring in a stem field and want to be prepared for what my classes will look like. stem women-in-stem

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Lori’s Answer

Hi Chloe! The split is definitely not to parity yet, but as Sherry mentioned it is improving. It really depends on field to field and specific focuses. For my Chemical Engineering classes, we ended up graduating at about 25-30% women (11 out of around 40 classmates). I had friends from the Society of Women Engineers ( majoring in Electrical Engineering where they were only 2 women out of their entire group.

I would suspect that some areas like medicine and architecture are a bit more balanced. Some of the very technology/computer fields are still quite skewed due to rigorous male-focused marketing campaigns for personal computers in the 1980s even though the original computers/coders were pretty gender equal (shout out to the movie Hidden Figures).

A couple of things I would recommend if this is concerning for you beyond what Sherry recommended of getting comfortable working with / being teammates with men - research some specific fields that may be of interest to you to check out the statistics and trends, and check out available support groups, like SWE!

One last bit I can personally add is that culture can be very different depending on what part of the country/world you study and work in, as well as what generation.

Lori recommends the following next steps:

Research demographics of some STEM fields of interest
Check for available professional and student societies in your areas of interest
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Kavya’s Answer

Gender imbalance is not a thing to consider when you are looking at getting into any field. Do it if you are interested and you will make it. Don t be bothered by numbers. Just concentrate on what you want to do.
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Katelyn’s Answer

It is decreasing but there were still about only 10 women in my graduating computer science class of 2015. I am often the only woman on my software engineering teams.
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Sherry’s Answer

Hello Chloe,

In my experience, there are still a lot of men in the STEM field. II work in technology. So it's important that you learn to work (be friends with) male co-workers. That said, more and more women are joining the STEM movement so you won't be alone. By the time you start your career, I hope there are a lot more women in your field.