WASHINGTON, 27 March 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although women make up about half of the world's population, they are woefully under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) occupations.
This and other issues will be covered in a new e-book from IEEE-USA. "Women in Engineering -- Book 1 (Volume 1): Inspire and Close the Gender Gap" is the first in a series of e-books on women engineers.
The reasons why more young girls are not pursuing STEM careers continues to be complex, varied and best appreciated when studied from multiple vantage points. Nita Patel, the book's author and IEEE Women in Engineering International chair, says "a few key themes – public stereotypes, inherent biases and lack of role models – emerge."
Women's participation in the workforce has increased significantly over the past few decades, and they now earn more college degrees than men. And while the demand for STEM-educated professionals has grown more than four times the rate of the U.S. labor force as a whole, women, for example, make up only about 11 percent of the world's electrical engineers and 18 percent of computer scientists.
Moreover, less than 24 percent of senior managers globally are female, a figure that is even less in technology companies. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that only 3 percent of all firms going public in the past year had women CEOs.
"Although there are no magic elixirs, developing one-on-one mentoring relationships, providing female role models, and increasing the awareness of inaccurate biases and stereotypes can make a difference," Patel says. "We need more women in leadership roles."
IEEE Women in Engineering is taking several steps to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers and to engage women graduating with STEM degrees.
The IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference (www.ieee-wie-ilc.org), in San Francisco on 2-3 May, is, according to Patel, "one way to provide inspirational role models and develop leaders who can truly change the world through their leadership."
"Women in Engineering -- Book 1 (Volume 1): Inspire and Close the Gender Gap" is $7.99 for IEEE members and $9.99 for nonmembers. See http://bit.ly/NPEJ9K.
IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 205,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.
SOURCE IEEE-USA (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)