STEM Professions Report Finds That Wage Gap Forces Women to Leave STEM


According to the 2018 STEM Professions Survey Report in Australia, women are extremely underrepresented in STEM fields because of the increasing wage gap. The report found that women in STEM fields are choosing to leave their positions in hopes of finding a career with equal pay to their male counterparts. A number of things, Professionals Australia CEO Chris Walton argues, contribute to women making this decision. He noted that a number of companies have “outdated” attitudes towards things like maternity leave and part time employment, which, in turn, creates a stigma for women in these fields. The study reported findings from around two thousand women who noted their current workplace held no policies that prevented gender discrimination or promoted diversity. Another finding reported that women in engineering specifically intended on leaving their jobs within the next five years due to discrimination and lack of sexual assault prevention measures.


For Further Reading:

To read more on the study and how gender inequality influences women in STEM fields, read this article that discusses research from Georgetown University.


Discussion Question:

In the study, women between the ages of 25-35 were intending to leave due to poor working conditions. Do you think that the current feminist movement is helping to encourage women to leave jobs where they are exploited? How so?


Action Item:

Research your state’s wage gap by using AAUW’s gender pay gap map.


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