It is no news to anyone to say that professionals in science, technology and mathematics are increasingly in demand in the world of work, given that nowadays all companies have had to join the digital transformation and become, many of them, technology companies. However, this will not happen if companies and universities continue to act separately to reduce the gap of professionals in STEM areas.
The gap of STEM professionals is not only the fact that there is a lack of more and better specialists in these areas to meet the requirements of the labor market and the economic development of countries, but also that the gap between men and women persists, which is another of the objectives that we are seeking to reduce.
In order for this situation to be overcome, it is not enough to speak of intentions, but rather a joint effort between companies and universities is required to turn it into a reality.
Only 28% of STEM professionals are women, and less than 17% of the workforce in engineering and architecture.
Now, in order to solve this situation we must start from school education, since according to UNICEF figures, we can find realities such as:
- 70% of people associate science with men.
- In India, more than half of the science contents show boys, versus only 6% in which girls appear.
- In the UK, more than 25% of girls report that they were prevented from working in STEM areas because they were male-dominated.
Thus, both in higher education and in the business world it is possible to start making a difference, which will be more noticeable if it is done in a coordinated way by both worlds: those who train professionals and those who hire them.
It is necessary for both training and work to be more flexible, facilitating the incorporation of women, who, in many cases
In many cases, women must fulfill other family care functions, making their training and/or work process more difficult.
Create joint mentoring programs that encourage and promote new opportunities for the increase of STEM professionals and greater equity in the number of men and women who contribute their talent in these disciplines.
Establish truly unbiased evaluation criteria, such as standardized tests that evaluate skills and competencies, leaving out cultural issues that often end up segregating talented people, both in university admission and in job hiring.
We are in a time when STEM disciplines are fundamental for the growth of society, the development of innovation and the construction of greater well-being, so we need more, better and more diverse people to be able to contribute so that the gap decreases and opportunities can occur in a fairer way for all people.