Our pal Hazel is wanting to help bring back The AV Report. Read below.
Everyone in our culture has ideas in their head about what constitutes traditionally female roles in society. From homemaker to elementary school teacher, we still live in a society where we have distinct ideas about where women belong. As a result, many fields are still strongly male-dominated.
A lot of those fields, like construction or freight management, make a little more sense as a field where there are more men working than women. Men tend to have better builds for those kinds of jobs, though certainly not always. It makes less sense that the gender ratio remains so off balance in intellectual and advanced technical careers, such as those in STEM fields.
Along with our outdated, preconceived notions about where women belong, we also hold outdated stereotypes about workers in scientific and technical fields. Nearly everyone pictures the scrawny, nerdy, socially awkward type when someone talks about bioengineers or computer programmers. They also tend to picture this person as male.
This stereotyped image does tend to lead not only to a higher number of men hired in these fields, but it also discourages a lot of high-potential young women from even attempting to pursue careers in STEM fields. This borders on the tragic, considering the many brilliant young, female minds with an interest in more technically advanced industries. Okay, so the threat of the substantial student loans that come with most advanced degrees doesn’t help, either. Thank you, gender wage gap.
It would make sense that hiring the best person for the job would be the industry standard. After all, a gift for crunching numbers appears equally across genders. However, the evidence clearly shows that hiring practices do not focus exclusively on qualifications and aptitude. Social influences continue to weigh heavily across our professional world.
As the data below shows, the gender ratio persistently shows the gap skewed toward men in STEM fields in all fifty states. Some show better progress toward equality than others, of course, but the problem remains universal. Read over this infographic, and see where your state ranks!