The STEM Field’s Changing Workforce
With the ever-expanding field of STEM, industry leaders are feeling pressure more than ever to recruit talented and qualified professionals to maintain the pace of their growing fields. This shift has led to greater job demand for women and minorities.
STEM industries have historically been male-dominated, but in recent years there has been a significant push from organizations and professional networks for greater job opportunities for minority groups. According to the National Science Foundation’s 2017 report, women represented 43 percent of the for-profit STEM sector. This was considerably higher than the African American population which only represented five percent of the STEM workforce during that same year.
In order to drive more diversity, organizations and professional networks have created several programs and academic opportunities to help foster professional growth and development in under-represented minority groups.
To help connect you to valuable academic and career resources, we have created a list of professional organizations and advocacy programs that are paving new paths in the field of STEM.
Professional Networking Groups
AWIS is a global network for female professionals in the field of STEM. As one of the biggest advocacy groups for women in STEM, they provide valuable leadership development and training tools to members to foster professional growth and career advancement.
Inspiring girls around the world to achieve career success in the fields of engineering and science, IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) is the world’s largest technical professional organization. This organization aims to promote female engineers and scientists through their network of industry leaders and volunteers.
Through like-minded organizations, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering serves as one of the STEM industry’s biggest promoters of engineering education and career development for under-represented minorities. NACME’s scholarship program is designed to support Black/African American, Native/American Indian, and Latinx/Hispanic American women and men fund their education in STEM.
Blacks in Technology is a global network of African American women and men who are dedicated to providing professional resources and mentorship in the field of technology. Members actively seek to break barriers and establish world-class standards for innovation and technology.
The Society of STEM Women of Color (SSWOC) is paving new paths for women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Members of this organization come from diverse racial and ethnic groups and hold positions across major STEM industries.
Advocacy and Mentorship Programs
Million Women Mentors is an organization that is dedicated to helping young women pursue and succeed in STEM careers and take on leadership opportunities within major STEM industries.
NAMEPA’s mission is to increase diversity within the STEM workforce by providing professional resources and best practices to major STEM stakeholders and academic institutions. The organization supports minorities in STEM by offering funding support to student organizations, hosting professional development conferences, and promoting scholarly research by experts in the field of STEM and under-represented populations.
Fostering an interest in STEM during a child’s early learning years is key to increasing female representation in the field of STEM. This is the approach National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) takes to promote the advancement of women in STEM. Leveraging a network of educators, NGCP brings quality resources and research opportunities to children from grades K-12.
NMSI is working to expand access for under-represented students to coursework and academic programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They aim to improve the methods and materials used to teach STEM subjects by developing more engaging techniques that appeal to females and minority groups.
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s Lighting the Pathway Program focuses on growing the number of Native Hawaiian, American Indian and Alaska Native STEM faculty by providing its members with access to funding, internships, and fellowships.